'Gypsy' on stage at Friendly Farm

October 02, 1992|By Cindy Parr RTC | Cindy Parr RTC,Contributing Writer

WESTMINSTER -- Just a few months after their first successful run of the musical "Oklahoma!" Stone Road Productions Inc. and Friendly Farm are ready to invite audiences back for their second Stage Door Dinner Theatre performance, "Gypsy," which begins tomorrow night.

Chock full of local talent, "Gypsy," with a 17-member cast, will light up the Friendly Farm restaurant each weekend in October and the first weekend in November.

Harry Langmead, a partner in Stone Road, said that like the production of "Oklahoma" in March, "Gypsy" is well-suited for a dinner-theater crowd.

"Since we are doing a dinner theater, we wanted to do something that would move," Mr. Langmead said. "In this particular play, we have utilized the concept of fewer actors playing more than one character. It's a skit-type vaudevillian situation. It's a whole different way of presenting a story."

Written by Arthur Laurents, "Gypsy" was was originally produced on Broadway in 1959 and starred Ethel Merman. The musical score was written by Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne.

The story focuses on the mother, Mama Rose, and her two daughters, Louise (Gypsy) and Baby June, and how they struggle to escape their humdrum existence and find success on the stage.

Sandra L. Murphy, who will be performing in her second production with Stone Road, plays Mama Rose.

Ms. Murphy, who has recently acted in Theatre on the Hill productions of "Nunsense" and "Alice in Wonderland," said she finds her role fulfilling.

"There is so much meat to this role. There is power and humor and fire in Rose," Ms. Murphy said. "It gives me an immense range to work with. I need to be sensitive, funny. It's a challenging role, in that Rose is on stage virtually every moment. She is always talking, always driving to get what she wants."

Audiences will see another local favorite in Roger Buchanan, who will play Mama Rose's boyfriend, Herbie.

Mr. Buchanan, who has acted in past Stone Road shows, and with September Song and the Spotlighters, said his role in "Gypsy" is a different.

"The role of Herbie is kind of a character part that I never really played before," said Mr. Buchanan. "He's subtle, and focused on having a relationship with Mama Rose. He is a passive man who ultimately realizes that her focus is on her children, and their stardom is more important than a relationship with him."

Stone Road is managed by partners Paula and Harry Langmead, and Kathy and Mike Pressimone.

First known as Havilah Hayes, the organization was founded by Arnie Hayes and Mike Pressimone in 1988. The theater group and Friendly Farm joined to create the Stage Door Dinner Theatre this year.

Ed Leister, vice president of Taneytown Bank & Trust Co., has been the master of ceremonies at the shows, said Paula Langmead. Mr. Leister brought Stone Road and Larry Wilhelm, the owner of Friendly Farm, together, she explained.

"It has been a delightful working relationship," she said. Larry is very capable and able to do what he does -- preparing and catering food. This venture has allowed us to make quality dinner theater available to everyone in Carroll."

Gypsy will be performed on Oct. 3-4, 9-11, 16-17, 23-25, 30-31 and Nov. 1.

The Stage Door Dinner Theatre opens on Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Dinner is served at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 8:15 p.m.

On Sundays, the doors open at noon. Dinner is served at 12:30 p.m., and the show begins at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets are $26 per person, but groups of 20 or more pay $23 per person. The price includes taxes and gratuities.

Tickets are available at Friendly Farm and Scharon's Black Eagle in the Westminster Shopping Center.

Information: 876-6810 or 795-4453.

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