Rehearsals are in full swing for Blue Mountains Musical Society's debut of Gypsy later this month (October).
Based on a real life child Vaudeville star who blossomed into a burlesque sensation, the latest show for the society features the captivating choreography of Catrin Phillips and Bec Blackwell. The stage is set to shine with trained dancers who are ready to show off their technical prowess.
Phillips and Blackwell have both previously appeared onstage as featured dancers, but are thrilled to this time be key players on the creative team. Gypsy is Phillips' first time on a Blue Mountains Musical Society production team, while Blackwell produced West Side Story in 2016, and choreographed We Will Rock You in 2018. The pair are currently employed as dance teachers and choreographers.
The variety of dance styles featured in Gypsy drew Phillips to the Broadway classic. The 2016 Ev & Bow graduate is delighted to be working with genres including ballet, theatre jazz, and the Charleston. The choreography of the biographical story of Gypsy Rose Lee includes romantic, sweeping movement, as well as slapstick comedy, and alluring burlesque.
Some of Gypsy's dancers will be recognised from previous Blue Mountains Musical Society shows. Amy Stoakes first appeared as a featured dancer in Phantom of The Opera in 2015. Gypsy will be her sixth show onstage with the society. The high school dance teacher, who plays Angie, is grateful the society affords her the opportunity to continue performing in high quality productions.
"I wanted to work with the amazing production team because they all offer so much knowledge."
Urinetown in 2018 was Tyler Moody's first show with Blue Mountains Musical Society. He has also appeared as a featured dancer in We Will Rock You, and The Wedding Singer. His dance training includes advanced tap and ballet.
"Bec's tap choreography is intricate and amazingly rhythmic. Catrin's choreography is a seamless fusion of jazz and ballet, which really suits the show," he said.
Experienced performer, Linda Aubrecht, will play burlesque entertainer Electra. After joining Blue Mountains Musical Society in 2012 she has appeared onstage in shows such as Grease, West Side Story, and Jesus Christ Superstar. She has also been on a number of production teams, including We Will Rock You as the director, and Cats as the choreographer. Aubrecht lists touring Europe with Holiday on Ice as the highlight of her professional career.
Gypsy will be the fourth show for Faulconbridge resident, Jade Boyce, after joining the society in 2017 for We Will Rock You. Outside Blue Mountains Musical Society she appeared in Springwood High School productions. Now studying sports and exercise science, Boyce is keen to don half of a cow costume and perform Phillips' quirky, yet technical, choreography.
Alyssa Cass, who currently attends Springwood High School, will play Thelma and Farm Boy. While Gypsy is her first show with the society, she has performed in a variety of platforms. Cass appeared in the ensemble of Packemin's Youth production of Cats in 2017. She has also performed in shows across Sydney with Australian Global Entertainment. She is most excited to perform the tap choreography of Broadway, which she describes as "high energy and lots of fun."
Ensemble member, Bernadette Wakeling, has trained in dance for 12 years. The high school student is thoroughly enjoying the Gypsy rehearsal process, and is eagerly anticipating her onstage debut for the society.
Be dazzled by the dancers of Gypsy when Blue Mountains Musical Society perform at the Blue Mountains Theatre from October 19 to November 3. Tickets are available online at www.bmms.org.au, by calling 02 4723 5050 or in person at the venue. The cost is $46 for adults, $42 for concessions and $36 for children. A 10 per cent discount applies for groups of 15 or more, and there is a special price for one night only, Friday October 25, when all tickets are just $36 each.