Regarded by many theater professionals as the greatest musical ever created, GYPSY is the ultimate tale of an ambitious stage mother fighting for her daughters’ success… while secretly yearning for her own. Set all across America in the 1920’s, when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born, Arthur Laurents’ landmark show explores the world of two-bit show business with brass, humor, heart, and sophistication.

The celebrated score, by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, boasts one glorious hit after another, including: “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,” “Small World” and “Together Wherever We Go.”

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

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • The story begins in Seattle, with stage mother Rose pushing her two daughters into Uncle Jocko’s Kiddie Show. Little 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.


    A Musical Fable,  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


    Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    is presented by arrangement with
    560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

  • 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
    2 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 for Director
    28     Prompt Books for Cast
    30     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
    Tap 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
    Clear Space Theatre Company REHOBOTH BEACH, DE 03/10/2017 03/26/2017
    Tacoma Little Theatre TACOMA, WA 03/10/2017 04/02/2017
    Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Inc. JUPITER, FL 03/21/2017 04/09/2017
    Colonia High School COLONIA, NJ 03/29/2017 04/02/2017
    Thalian Association WILMINGTON, NC 03/30/2017 04/09/2017
    Lewiston/Auburn Community Little Theatre AUBURN, ME 03/31/2017 04/09/2017
    Desert Foothills Theatre SCOTTSDALE, AZ 03/31/2017 04/09/2017
    Harvard University CAMBRIDGE, MA 03/31/2017 04/08/2017
    State University of New York at GENESEO, NY 04/05/2017 04/09/2017
    Wyoming Valley West High School PLYMOUTH, PA 04/06/2017 04/08/2017
    Hutchinson Community College HUTCHINSON, KS 04/13/2017 04/15/2017
    Another Door Theatre Project RIVER FOREST, IL 04/13/2017 04/15/2017
    Langley High School MCLEAN, VA 04/20/2017 04/29/2017
    Morton College CICERO, IL 04/21/2017 05/06/2017
    La Guardia High School NEW YORK, NY 04/27/2017 04/30/2017
    Be Theatre SAN ANGELO, TX 04/28/2017 05/07/2017
    Arden Theatre PHILADELPHIA, PA 05/18/2017 06/25/2017
    Columbian Theatre & Art Center WAMEGO, KS 06/09/2017 06/25/2017
    Virginia Samford Theatre BIRMINGHAM, AL 06/15/2017 07/02/2017
    John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts EUGENE, OR 06/16/2017 06/25/2017
    The Children's Theatre Project Ltd. RICHMOND HILL, ON 06/17/2017 06/18/2017
    Great Plains Theatre ABILENE, KS 06/30/2017 07/09/2017
    Grand Opera House DUBUQUE, IA 07/21/2017 07/30/2017
    Weathervane Theatre LISBON, NH 07/24/2017 08/31/2017
    Tulane University NEW ORLEANS, LA 08/02/2017 08/05/2017
    Broadway Rose Theatre Company TIGARD, OR 08/03/2017 08/20/2017
    Cape Playhouse DENNIS, MA 08/08/2017 08/19/2017
    Light Opera Works WILMETTE, IL 08/11/2017 08/27/2017
    Monroe Theatre Guild, Inc. MONROE, WI 08/11/2017 08/20/2017
    Norwich Theater Company Inc. NORWICH, NY 08/18/2017 08/20/2017
    Lyric Stage Company of Boston BOSTON, MA 09/01/2017 10/08/2017
    Theater Works PEORIA, AZ 09/08/2017 09/24/2017
    HarborSide Productions LLC NORTHPORT, NY 09/14/2017 10/29/2017
    North Carolina Theatre RALEIGH, NC 11/14/2017 11/19/2017
    Geauga Lyric Theater Guild CHARDON, OH 01/19/2018 01/28/2018
    TADA Productions LINCOLN, NE 02/01/2018 02/11/2018
    Riverside Theatre, Inc. VERO BEACH, FL 03/06/2018 03/25/2018
    Longmont Theatre Company LONGMONT, CO 05/04/2018 05/20/2018