“Let Me Entertain You” can be heard from the street outside the Palace Theater as the huge fifty-plus member cast and the twelve-member orchestra rehearsed for GYPSY, the Palace’s 18h Annual Fall Musical. The show opens Friday, Oct. 11th at 7 p.m. and runs for three weekends through Oct. 27th. Ticket info below.
A cast and orchestra that size is unique for a live musical, but GYPSY is not your average musical. It’s a big, old fashioned, family-friendly musical comedy that is considered by many to be the greatest musical of all time!
Heading the extraordinarily talented cast is Jeri Gertz as Mama Rose and Saul Rollason as Herbie. Both actors actually played their roles 15 years ago when the Palace presented the show in 2004. The idea of casting actors who had played the roles in a previous production seemed daunting to the production team as it might inhibit the chance to start anew and create the show from the ground up… but after their auditions, when the team saw their chemistry, they knew it was a perfect opportunity to rekindle this now-legendary pairing. Aside from the nostalgia-element, it was a chance to see how these two actors have grown as performers and to see performances that have grown deeper and richer with time.
The talented cast is being led by Dayva Escobar who plays Louise and Meili Aspen Caputo who plays Dainty June. Dayva recently appeared in RENT at the University and Meili recently starred as Princess Jasmine in ALADDIN for Center stage. They are joined by Anna Braun and Olivia “Livi” Rosehill as the younger Louise and June respectively. Rounding out the cast is: Kaiulu Tiiogangco as Tulsa, Justine Thompson as Mazeppa, Lina Manning as Tessie Tura and Michelle Escobar as Electra.
The aforementioned team is Larry Reitzer, who is directing the show. Larry, a television writer, most recently directed ALADDIN at the University and earlier this year directed a production of THE LION KING at the Patchogue Theatre in New York. Joining him is Michael Misita, the show’s legendary choreographer. Michael, a veteran singer-actor-dancer appeared on Broadway in such historic shows as: FOLLIES, APPLAUSE, EQUUS and PIPPIN. Larry and Michael worked together on ALADDIN when Larry (desperate to work with him) invited Michael to stage two numbers for the show. Michael, who choreographed MARY POPPINS, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES and 9-5 at the Palace had retired from community theater… but when Larry begged him to join him for this show, Michael agreed.
Also, on the GYPSY team as vocal director is Lisa Katherine Taylor who served as the Musical Director on ALADDIN and recently starred in the Hilo Player’s production of BARE. In addition, Lisa heads up the Anuenue Children’s Chorus and Glee Glee Club, so she has a great deal of experience working with young people. She is assisted by new island resident and professional opera singer, Marlise Ahuna. The musical direction is by Armando Mendoza who recently musically directed THE FLOWER DRUMSONG at KDEN as well as EVITA and MISS SAIGON at the University. According to Larry, “It’s a true dream-team, GYPSY is a very challenging show, maybe the most challenging show I have ever directed, and I could not imagine doing it without these wonderfully talented collaborators.
GYPSY is one of musical theater’s most acclaimed and enduring works. This landmark show, with a celebrated score by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, is based on the life of Gypsy Rose Lee. The New York Times called the score “one of the best for any show ever.” Classic songs include “You Gotta Get A Gimmick,” “Let Me Entertain You” and the show-stopping “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.”
If You Go… Have A Good Show!
GYPSY opens Friday Oct. 11 with shows on October 12, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27. Fridays and Saturdays are at 7pm and Sunday matinées are at 2:30pm.
Tickets are $15 General Admission, $25 Side Reserved, and $30 Center Reserved. All adult tickets will be $5 more on Day of Show. Children 12 and under are $5 in advance and $8 Day of Show. Tickets are available at the Palace Box Office, over the phone at 934-7010 and general admission tickets available ONLINE at www.hilopalace.com