Contrary to popular belief, all the world is not a stage—sometimes people just say things to get attention. See an actual stage with this GrouponLive deal to see Theatre Tuscaloosa's production of Gypsy in the Bean-Brown Theatre at Shelton State Community College. For $22, you get two tickets for best-available seating at the time of redemption in row G or above (up to a $44 value). Choose from the following shows:
- Friday, July 13, at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, July 15, at 2 p.m.
Doors open one hour before showtime.
Stage moms are nothing new. Reality TV shows capture mothers thrusting their toddlers into the beauty-pageant limelight in an attempt to fulfill their own faded dreams of stardom. But cases such as these go even further back in the annals of history. Gypsy presents the first, and certainly most famous, depiction of the stage mom.
Although it was inspired by the memoirs of famous burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee, the real star of this Sondheim musical is the dancer's mother, Rose (played by Ava Buchanan), who lugged a young Gypsy and her sister across the country in a touring vaudeville show. Rose's motivations are laced with both love and selfishness, which prompted the New York Times to label her "one of the few truly complex characters in the American musical." Her dueling outlooks regarding her daughters clash head-on at the end of Act I in "Everything's Coming Up Roses," when she bullies the future by singing "I had a dream about you, baby / It's going to come true, baby."
The musical offers no clear-cut answer to whether or not Rose's dream comes true for her and her family. Instead, the audience is left to decide for themselves as they watch shy daughter Louise transform into her on-stage persona of Gypsy during the striptease to "Let Me Entertain You." The song starts off demurely but grows more and more aggressive with the entrance of cymbal crashes and woozy horns to symbolize Gypsy's metamorphosis. This brassiness characterizes many of the tunes in Gypsy, which are both entertaining and hard-hitting due to the story's refusal to shy away from the darker side of show business.
Theatre Tuscaloosa sprang directly from the Tuscaloosa Community Players, a rag-tag troupe formed in 1971 that played hotels, churches, and the castles of wealthy Southerners before it moved to the Bama Theatre late in the decade. By the end of the 20th century, Theatre Tuscaloosa had racked up a wall full of awards, including the Governor’s Arts Award and numerous Druid Arts Awards. 1998 saw the completion of the Bean-Brown Theatre, which serves as Theatre Tuscaloosa’s current home. It’s also the site of the company’s first world premiere, A Dickens of a Carol, scored by Alabamian Brad Simmons.
9500 Old Greensboro Rd.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405