Review: ‘Gypsy’ cast epitome of determination

CAST MEMBERS appearing in the Lake Region Community Theatre production of Gypsy include (left to right) Eric Andrews, Anne Freeman Walker, Chris Madura, Mellissa Mattucci and Kenya DuBrule. (Photo by Sydney Walker) SEE GYPSY WHAT: Gypsy by Lake Region Community Theatre. WHERE: Lake Region High School auditorium, Route 302, Naples. WHEN: Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 30 at 2 p.m. TICKETS:  Adults $15, children $12 for ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at these outlets: Raymond Village Florist, Krainin Real Estate in Raymond and Naples, Casco Library, Naples Library, Bridgton Public Library, Hayes True Value, Books N Things in Norway and Papa’s Floral and Gifts in Fryeburg.

CAST MEMBERS appearing in the Lake Region Community Theatre production of Gypsy include (left to right) Eric Andrews, Anne Freeman Walker, Chris Madura, Mellissa Mattucci and Kenya DuBrule. (Photo by Sydney Walker)
SEE GYPSY
WHAT: Gypsy by Lake Region Community Theatre.
WHERE: Lake Region High School auditorium, Route 302, Naples.
WHEN: Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 30 at 2 p.m.
TICKETS: Adults $15, children $12 for ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at these outlets: Raymond Village Florist, Krainin Real Estate in Raymond and Naples, Casco Library, Naples Library, Bridgton Public Library, Hayes True Value, Books N Things in Norway and Papa’s Floral and Gifts in Fryeburg.

By April Boyle

Guest Reviewer

Lake Region Community Theatre is getting the summer season rolling with Gypsy. The musical is a classic tale about persistence and unrelenting dreams, which is something LRCT can identify with.

Despite personal tragedy and illness, the cast members of Gypsy never gave up on their dream. Let Me Entertain You is a running theme throughout the musical. And, entertain us, they do.

Anne Freeman Walker heads up the 37-member cast as Mama Rose. Unable to obtain her showbiz dream for herself, Rose gives up everything to try and realize her dream through her daughters, June and Louise.

Walker was the epitome of determination — as Rose Saturday night — as she delivered a gutsy performance and powerful vocals. Even when her microphone kicked out due to audio issues, Walker’s vocals still rang out loud and clear over the audience.

She was tireless throughout the two-act musical, performing nine out of 20 songs. Highlights included Mr. Goldstone, Everything’s Coming Up Roses and Roses Turn.

Walker’s real-life daughter, Emma, portrays June. The 2013 Lake Region graduate showed off her vocal talents and physical prowess Saturday in Farm Sequence and Broadway, singing, dancing, twirling a baton and performing splits.

When Joanna Clarke became unable to perform due to illness, Savannah DeVoe, who was originally slated to play Agnes (played by Taylor Cronin), stepped into the role of Louise with less than a week to prepare. Her performance Saturday was beyond commendable. DeVoe tackled the role as if it had been hers all along. Her unassuming portrayal, coupled with sweet vocals and skillful dancing made her a standout performer for the evening.

DeVoe and Emma Walker harmonized beautifully on If Momma Was Married.

Other standouts included Eric Andrews as Herbie. Andrews was well cast as June and Louise’s agent, delivering a performance that highlighted his character’s giving nature.  Memorable performances included a duet with Anne Freeman Walker on You’ll Never Get Away From Me, and Together Wherever We Go, with Anne Freeman Walker and DeVoe.

Chris Madura also charmed the audience as Tulsa. All I Need Is The Girl nicely highlighted his rich vocals and tap-dancing skills.

Katrina Carus (Mazeppa), Samantha Scarf (Electra) and Mellissa Mattucci (Tessie Tura) were fun as three burlesque dancers in You Gotta Get A Gimmick.

The entire LRCT cast, under the direction of Mary Bastoni, clearly put a lot of time and effort into bringing Gypsy to the stage. The community theater performers exhibited a lot of talent and perseverance throughout, with even the youngest cast members demonstrating vocal, dancing and acrobatic talents.  Eight-year-old Polly Vaillant was adorable as Baby June.

The hardworking cast also doubled as stagehands, smoothly transitioning sizable set changes between scenes.

Mama Rose may not have been able to achieve her dream, but the cast of Gypsy definitely has.

April Boyle is a free-lance writer from Casco. She can be contacted at: aprilhboyle@yahoo.com

 

 

 

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