Audra McDonald Takes Rose’s Turn In Broadway ‘Gypsy’ Revival

Six-time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald will return to Broadway this fall in one of musical theater’s greatest roles: “Mama” Rose of Gypsy.

The revival will be directed by George C. Wolfe, with choreography by Camille A. Brown. Previews begin Thursday, November 21, at Broadway’s newly renovated Majestic Theatre, with opening night set for Thursday, December 19.

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Additional casting and creative team members will be announced at a later date.

Based on the 1957 memoirs of striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, the musical largely focuses on her mother Rose, the classic stage monster-mother. Other prominent roles include Rose’s daughters Louise, who would become Gypsy Rose Lee, and June, based on actress June Havoc.

With a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Gypsy features one of the most beloved scores in American musical theater, with such numbers as “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”, “Small World”, “Together (Wherever We Go)”, “You Gotta Get a Gimmick”, “Let Me Entertain You” and the epitome of showstopper “Rose’s Turn.”

Producers Tom Kirdahy and Mara Isaacs said in a statement, “When we began this journey we had the specific dream of pairing Audra McDonald, our most lauded stage actress, with legendary director George C. Wolfe in a musical deemed by many to be the greatest. Sometimes the theatre gods smile upon us. This is one such time. We could not be more honored to bring this particular Gypsy to the Broadway stage and also include the singular Camille A. Brown as part of our creative team.”

Gypsy premiered on Broadway in 1959 with Ethel Merman in her career-defining performance as Rose. Since then, the challenging role has been tackled by some of musical theater’s biggest stars, including Angela Lansbury (1974), Tyne Daly (1989), Bernadette Peters (2003) and, most recently, Patti LuPone (2008).

The revival is produced by Kirdahy, Isaacs, Kevin Ryan, Diane Scott Carter, Peter May, and Thomas M. Neff.

McDonald has won a record-breaking six Tonys (Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill), and most recently starred on Broadway in 2022 in Adrienne Kennedy’s play Ohio State Murders. Other credits include The Secret Garden, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and, on TV, NBC’s The Sound of Music Live!, Private Practice, The Good Wife, and currently HBO’s The Gilded Age.

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