Sharon Playhouse, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Simpkins and Managing Director Justin Ball, presents Tony Award-winner Karen Ziemba in Gypsy, with performances from June 16 through July 3 at Sharon Playhouse. Opening Night is June 16 at 7:00pm.
Ziemba is joined by Rufus Collins as Herbie and Kyra Kennedy as Louise. Collins returns to Sharon Playhouse having starred last season as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. Kennedy makes her Sharon Playhouse debut.
Gypsy is directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford (Broadway: In My Life; Sharon Playhouse: My Fair Lady), and music direction by Joshua Zecher-Ross (Sharon Playhouse Falsettos).
Considered by many as one of the greatest American musicals, Gypsy, is the 1959 musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents, and is loosely based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with “the ultimate show business mother.” Gypsy follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life. The musical contains many songs that have become popular standards, including “Small World,” “Everything’s Coming up Roses,” “You’ll Never Get Away from Me,” and “Let Me Entertain You.”
The production features Julia Hemp (June), Alex Dorf (Tulsa), Sarah Cline (Tessie Tura), Carly Sakolove (Mazeppa), Emily Soell (Electra/Miss Cratchitt), Serafina Fauci (Baby June), Olivia Santiago (Baby Louise), Tom Schindler (Pop), David Fanning (Uncle Jocko, Kringelein), John Champion (Weber/Goldstone), Dave Cadwell (Cigar). The ensemble includes Joseph Allen, Nick Case, Mac Cherny, Evan Fine, Sarah Anne Fuller Hogewood, Joseph Lamberti, Jane Langan, Shane Lischin, Jacqueline Minogue, Lily Autumn Page, Libby Rosenfield, and Johnathan Teeling.
The production is designed by Jack Mehler (scenery and lighting), Michelle Humphrey (costumes), and Emma Wilk (sound). E. Sara Barnes is production stage manager. Geoff Josselson is casting director.
Karen Ziemba received the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award for her portrayal of The Wife in Contact at Lincoln Center Theater. For her performance as Georgia Hendricks in Kander and Ebb’s musical Curtains, she received the Outer Critics Circle Award and was nominated for the Tony, Drama Desk and L.A.’s Ovation Award. Other appearances on and off-Broadway include, Never Gonna Dance (Outer Critics Circle Award); Kander and Ebb’s Steel Pier; And The World Goes ‘Round (Drama Desk Award), I Do! I Do!, Chicago, A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, Crazy for You, and leading roles at the New York City Opera in 110 in the Shade and The Most Happy Fella. For Encores! at City Center she starred in Do I Hear A Waltz?, Bye Bye Birdie, The Pajama Game, Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, and Allegro.
Regionally she has appeared at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Old Globe, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, and Long Wharf Theatre. Her film and TV appearances include The Producers, Once More With Feeling, Scrubs, all three Law & Order series, The Kennedy Center Honors, in tributes to Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris, and for PBS’ Great Performances, “My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies”, “Gershwin at 100”, and “Stephen Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall”. Karen has sung on many recordings including several original cast albums and received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Niagara University.
One of the greatest roles in musical theater, actresses who have left their mark on the role include Ethel Merman, Rosalind Russell, Kaye Ballard, Angela Lansbury, Dolores Gray, Tyne Daly, Bette Midler, Betty Buckley, Bernadette Peters, and Patti LuPone.
Performances are Thursday at 2pm and 7pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm and 8pm, Sunday at 1pm and 5:30pm. There is an added performance Wednesday, June 29 at 7:00pm and Sunday, July 3 at 3:00pm. Season subscriptions ($90-$180) are on sale now. Single tickets ($15-$47) available online and at the Sharon Playhouse Box Office by calling (860) 364-7469.