GYPSY is the ultimate story about an aggressive stage mother. Join Rose, June and Louise in their trip across the United States during the 1920′s, when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. Jule Styne’s music and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics include Let Me Entertain You, Some People, You’ll Never Get Away from Me, If Momma Was Married, All I Need Is the Girl, Everything’s Coming Up Roses, You Gotta Get A Gimmick and Together Wherever We Go. This is a gripping story of one of the most frightening aspects of show business.

*Music samples provided courtesy of Angel Records and Warner/Chappell, Music Inc.

Gypsy Quote Request & Licensing

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • The story starts in Seattle with stage mother, Rose, pushing her two daughters into Uncle Jocko’s Kiddie Show. June, her mother feels, is the most likely to become a star. Louise is plainer and quieter; she stands meekly in her sister’s shadow. A new act called ‘Baby June and her Newsboys’ is conceived by Rose, and the family is off to the ‘big time’ in Los Angeles. The act steeped in star spangled banners, dancing horses (Louise plays the rear end), and screaming newsboys moves to Dallas, Akron, New York, Buffalo and Omaha. Along the way Rose meets Herbie, a theatrical agent, and hires him as manager. He makes himself father to the troupe, sharing with them their meals of chow mein, Rose’s favorite food. Rose scrimps as she schemes and scrambles for bookings and billings to maintain their hand to mouth existence. She sleeps her charges six in a dingy hotel room and makes their costumes from hotel blankets. Her object is to make her two penniless girls into world stars. The girls begin to grow up and the act becomes ‘Dainty June and her Newsboys.’ Unfortunately its quality does not improve. Bookings are cancelled and the act moves on.
    Louise wishes that Momma would marry a plain man so they could settle down. Herbie proposes but is rejected. June elopes with Tulsa, one of the boys in the act. Rose sets out to make Louise into the star. She bursts into new enthusiasm with the rousing number Everything’s Coming Up Roses. Behind Rose lies a worrying sense of doom; a feeling that she never will fulfill her dream of stardom for her girls because it is really a dream of stardom for herself.
    Finally the troupe reaches the bottom, a burlesque house in Wichita. Rose laments that she would rather starve than perform there. Louise realizes there is no vaudeville left except for burlesque. Here the clumsy Louise shoots into stardom by becoming something different: a ladylike stripper. Three strippers dressed respectively in a ballet costume, a trumpet and well placed electric light bulbs are used in a most exaggerated, but very funny number, You Gotta Get a Gimmick, to indicate the difference between the usual brassy stripper and the very elegant Louise. At last Louise breaks away from her mother and goes out on her own as Gypsy Rose Lee.
    Rose bursts into the plaintive Rose’s Turn in which she sings of her suppressed talents that she has sacrificed to further the careers of her unappreciative daughters.

  • Book by Arthur Laurents
    Music by Jule Styne
    Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
    Suggested by memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee
    Original Production by David Merrick & Leland Hayward
    Entire production originally directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins.

  • Full Instrumentation

    (* indicates optional Reed instrument)

    2 Violin A
    1 Violin B
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Reed I: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed II: *Flute, *Piccolo, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed III: *Flute, *Piccolo, Clarinet, *Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone & *Bass Saxophone
    1 Reed IV: *Oboe, *English Horn, Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
    1 Reed V: Clarinet, *Bass Clarinet, *Bassoon & Baritone Saxophone

    1 Horn
    1 Trumpets I & II
    1 Trumpet III
    1 Trombone I
    1 Trombone II
    1 Trombone III (Bass Trombone)

    1 Harp

    2 Percussion I & II:

    Timpani (2 Drums)
    Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
    Bass Drum
    Tom Tom
    Suspended Cymbal (Soft & Hard Mallets)
    Hand Cymbals
    Hi-Hat Cymbals
    Tam Tam
    Temple Blocks
    Slide Whistle
    Bird Whistle
    Train Whistle
    Cow Bell
    Wood Block

    Piano-Celeste (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.)

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book
    4       Prompt Books for Principal Characters
    24     Dialogue Parts
    33     Chorus-Vocal Parts

  • Principals

    (6 female; 2 male)

    Rose — the Mother
    June — Rose’s daughter
    Louise — Rose’s other daughter, later Gypsy, the stripper
    Tessie Tura — ballet stripper
    Mazeppa — trumpet stripper
    Electra — lightbulb stripper

    Herbie — candy salesman and Rose’s manager
    Tulsa — farm boy, etc. (with others)


    Uncle Jocko — vaudeville master of ceremonies
    Georgie — Jocko’s assistant
    Balloon Girl — auditioning child; non-speaking
    Clarinet Boy (Clarence) — auditioning child
    Baby June — Rose’s baby daughter
    Baby Louise — Rose’s other baby daughter
    Pop — Rose’s father
    Rich Man — driver of a touring car; non-speaking
    Rich Man’s Son — driver’s son; non-speaking
    Tasp Dancing Urchin — roadside kid; non-speaking
    Little Boy Scout — another roadside kid; non-speaking
    Weber — theatre manager in Los Angeles
    L.A. — farm boy, etc. (with others)
    Yonkers — farm boy, etc. (with others)
    Angie — farm boy, etc. (with others)
    Kringelein — hotel manager in Akron
    Mr. Goldstone — representative of the Orpheum Circuit
    Miss Cratchitt — secretary at Grantziger’s Palace
    Agnes — Hollywood Blonde
    Marjorie May — Hollywood Blonde
    Dolores — Hollywood Blonde
    Thelma — Hollywood Blonde; non-speaking
    Gail — Hollywood Blonde; non-speaking
    Cigar — theatre manager in Wichita
    Pastey — stage manager in Wichita
    Offstage Announcer — introducing Gypsy across the country
    Renée — Louise’s maid
    Phil — Louise’s press agent
    Bourgeron-Cochon — photographer


    Auditioning Kids & their Mothers
    Boy Scouts
    Hotel Guests
    Restaurant Wait Staff
    Front & Rear Cow
    Stagehands at Grantziger’s and in Wichita
    Other Strippers
    Backstage Figures & Showgirls

    The original Broadway production had a cast of 44 performers. The show has no dedicated chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.

  • GYPSY originally played for 702 performances on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre starring Ethel Merman as Rose. It played for 300 performances in London at the Piccadilly Theatre with Angela Lansbury as Rose. This extremely successful show has been revived on Broadway no less than four times: In 1974 with Angela Lansbury, in 1989 with Tyne Daly, in 2003 with Bernadette Peters, and in 2008 with Patti LuPone as Rose.

    Awards (1975)

    The Tony Award for Actress
    2 Theatre World Awards (Zan Charisse and John Sheridan)

    Awards (1990)

    2 Tony Awards for Revival and Actress
    2 Drama Desk Awards for Revival and Actress
    2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Revival and Actress
    2 Theatre World Awards (John Lambert and Crista Moore)

    Awards (2003)

    The Theatre World Award (Tammy Blanchard)

    Awards (2008)

    3 Tony Awards for Actress, Featured Actress and Featured Actor
    3 Drama Desk Awards for Actress, Featured Actress and Featured Actor
    2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Actress and Featured Actress

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

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    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Barstow Community College BARSTOW, CA 04/10/2015 04/19/2015
    Chicken Coop Theatre BOYNTON BEACH, FL 04/12/2015 04/14/2015
    Our Gang Players, Inc. MANAHAWKIN, NJ 04/17/2015 04/26/2015
    Yorktown Stage, Inc. YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY 04/24/2015 04/26/2015
    Arts Center of Coastal Carolina HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC 04/29/2015 05/24/2015
    Stephens College COLUMBIA, MO 05/01/2015 05/08/2015
    Fremont Community Theatre FREMONT, OH 05/01/2015 05/10/2015
    Boise Music Week BOISE, ID 05/06/2015 05/09/2015
    STAGES: The Performing Arts SOUTH PORTLAND, ME 05/08/2015 05/10/2015
    Centenary Performing Arts Guild HACKETTSTOWN, NJ 05/29/2015 06/07/2015
    New London Barn Playhouse, Inc. NEW LONDON, NH 06/17/2015 06/28/2015
    Theatre of the Republic CONWAY, SC 06/19/2015 07/05/2015
    Festival 56 PRINCETON, IL 07/02/2015 07/11/2015
    Leongatha Lyric Theatre LEONGATHA 07/03/2015 07/18/2015
    Cotuit Center for the Arts COTUIT, MA 07/07/2015 08/02/2015
    Ocean State Theatre Co, Inc. WARWICK, RI 07/08/2015 08/02/2015
    Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera Association PITTSBURGH, PA 07/10/2015 07/19/2015
    King of Prussia Players KING OF PRUSSIA, PA 07/17/2015 07/26/2015
    KJK Productions, Inc. JEFFERSON VALLEY, NY 07/17/2015 07/17/2015
    Flat Rock Playhouse FLAT ROCK, NC 07/23/2015 08/16/2015
    Gibson County Theatre Company PRINCETON, IN 07/31/2015 08/09/2015
    Amelia Musical Playhouse FERNANDINA BEACH, FL 08/20/2015 09/05/2015
    Stirling Players, Inc. HEATHRIDGE 09/11/2015 09/26/2015
    Studio Tenn Theatre Company FRANKLIN, TN 09/17/2015 10/04/2015
    The Media Theatre MEDIA, PA 09/22/2015 11/01/2015
    Shire Music Theatre Inc. GYMEA 10/02/2015 10/10/2015
    Drury Lane Theatrical Productions BURLINGTON, ON 10/30/2015 11/28/2015
    In The Wings Productions RIDGEWOOD, NJ 11/12/2015 11/15/2015
    Beenleigh Theatre Group BEENLEIGH 11/13/2015 11/28/2015
    Harper College PALATINE, IL 11/13/2015 11/22/2015
    Virginia Repertory Theatre RICHMOND, VA 11/19/2015 01/03/2016
    Broward Stage Door Theatre Co. CORAL SPRINGS, FL 11/20/2015 01/03/2016
    Theater Latte Da MINNEAPOLIS, MN 02/03/2016 03/06/2016
    Osceola Center for the Arts KISSIMMEE, FL 02/19/2016 03/06/2016
    The Ice House Theatre MOUNT DORA, FL 03/18/2016 04/10/2016
    Contra Costa Musical Theatre WALNUT CREEK, CA 04/01/2016 05/01/2016
    Footlite Musicals, Inc. INDIANAPOLIS, IN 05/06/2016 05/22/2016
    South Bay Musical Theatre SAN JOSE, CA 05/20/2016 06/11/2016
    Virginia Samford Theatre BIRMINGHAM, AL 06/16/2016 07/03/2016
    Harbor Lights Theatre Company STATEN ISLAND, NY 08/07/2016 08/16/2016