“Let Me Entertain You,” “Small World,” “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “Together, Wherever We Go” – “Gypsy, A Musical Fable” features one iconic Broadway show tune after another. And each and every one of them will be performed in Marblehead Little Theatre’s production running June 24 through July 3.
“So many of these songs were built into my childhood,” said Lianne Goodwin, the show’s music director. “They’re such a huge part of the musical theater canon. Doesn’t everyone know these songs?”
This is the show many critics consider to be the greatest Broadway musical of all time. Goodwin says the music is so tuneful and masterfully crafted. “Every day I honestly wake up with a different song from the show in my head, and they’re all wonderful! It doesn’t hurt that the great Stephen Sondheim pitches in on the lyrics either.”
The show’s music is by Jule Styne. The book is by Arthur Laurents.
In “Gypsy,” “there is no separation at all between the song and character, which is what happens in those uncommon moments when musicals reach upward to achieve their ideal reasons to be,” Charles Isherwood wrote in the New York Times in 2011.
What most intrigues Goodwin is the challenge of presenting this massive score in the small scale of a four-instrument pit orchestra.
Of particular excitement to her is the pleasure of playing an actual, honest-to-goodness piano, rather than an electronic keyboard.
“There is just no comparing the feeling of playing a real piano – the feel of the weighted action of the wood keys of a REAL PIANO,” she said.
The show’s two upright pianos have a story of their own. Sourced from Falcetti Pianos through a private contribution, they were specially selected to suggest Vaudeville rehearsal pianos in keeping with the show’s time period and staging. They are actually beautiful upright concert pianos, carefully delivered by Northeast Piano Movers.
Goodwin shared a final memory of her childhood relationship with “Gypsy.”
“My mom had a cassette tape of Barry Manilow – and yes, I’m a ‘Fanilow’ – where he sang all sorts of Broadway hits, and one of my favorites was ‘All I Need Is The Girl,'” she said. “When I hear that song in my head, it’s always Barry singing it.”
Tickets to “Gypsy, A Musical Fable” are $28 general admission and $20 student admission for Saturday matinees and are available at mltlive.org and at the door subject to availability.
For more information about this production, upcoming shows and Marblehead Little Theatre, visit mltlive.org.