My Suburban Life

Hit musical ‘Gypsy’ to open at Theatre of Western Springs

Jamie DePaolo of Northlake stars as Louise, who becomes Gypsy Rose Lee, in the Theatre of Western Springs production of "Gypsy," on stage June 2 to 12.

WESTERN SPRINGS – The Theatre of Western Springs presents the musical “Gypsy” from June 2 to 12.

It is directed by Eddie Sugarman, executive artistic director at TWS, with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

The show features a cast and crew of over 50 dedicated volunteers and students from the Theatre of Western Springs and the Children’s Theatre of Western Springs, a news release stated.

Tammy O'Reilly of La Grange stars as Rose in "Gypsy" for Theatre of Western Springs.

“Gypsy” tells the story of an obsessed stage mother, Rose (Tammy O’Reilly of La Grange), who chases stardom by pushing her daughters through the vaudeville circuit. When Baby June (Aubrey Doty of Downers Grove) runs away to get married, Rose vows to make introverted Louise (Jamie DePaolo of Northlake) into a star. Although Louise’s singing and dancing talents leave a lot to be desired, she eventually becomes a famous burlesque star, headlining in Minsky’s famous New York theater.

The real Gypsy Rose Lee was an incredibly successful striptease artist who stood out with a graceful, witty style, the release stated. She was a headliner at Minsky’s, was featured in the Ziegfeld Follies, and appeared in several Hollywood films. In 1957, she published an autobiography on which the musical was based.

“This is a masterpiece of musical theater,” Director Eddie Sugarman said in the release. “Audiences are going to love [the] comedy, glamour and style. At this musical’s heart, however, is the intense and complicated relationship between Rose and her daughter, Louise. Get ready for an emotional roller-coaster.”

The original production of “Gypsy,” starring Ethel Merman as Rose, opened May 21, 1959, at the Broadway Theatre. Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood and Karl Malden starred in the 1962 Warner Bros. film adaptation.

Memorable songs include “Let Me Entertain You,” “You’ll Never Get Away From Me,” “Small World” and “Everything’s Coming up Roses.”

“We have a wonderful team,” Sugarman said. “From set construction to costumes to the cast and everyone in between, we are building a fabulous production that I am sure audiences are going to love.”

The choreographer is Chelsea Ward of Downers Grove.

TWS is at 4384 Hampton Ave. in Western Springs. For tickets, which cost $25 to $27, call the box office at 708-246-3380 or visit

Characters and cast members

Angie, Electra – Erin Blaber of Indian Head Park

Baby June – Aubrey Doty of Downers Grove

Back-of-Cow, Marjorie May – Stella Barnicle of La Grange

Balloon Girl, Newsboy – Lila Beck of Riverside

Chowsie – Clayton Sugarman of Western Springs

Clown Kid, Newsboy – Mila Panos of La Grange

Dainty June – Claudia Kupec of Western Springs

Dressy Tessie Tura – Lori D’Asta of La Grange

Georgie, Pastey – Kevin Wilson of Woodridge

Goldstone, Cigar – Thom Serafin of Chicago

Herbie – Joe Mills of Westchester

Kringelin – Steve Sieple of Burr Ridge

L.A., Back-of-Cow – J.C. Crosley-Corcoran of Woodridge

Louise/Gypsy Rose Lee – Jamie DePaolo of Northlake

Mazeppa – Kelli Kopp of Countryside

Miss Cratchitt – Mary Van Nest of Western Springs

Mother, Agnes – Caroline Busch of Brookfield

Mother, Iris, Renee – Rachel Gilbert of La Grange Park

Mother, Waitress, Dolores – Mary Wood of Western Springs

Pop – Jon Mills of Elk Grove Village

Rose – Tammy O’Reilly of La Grange

Tulsa – RJ Cecott of Hickory Hills

Uncle Jocko – Chuck Lichtenauer of Western Springs

Ventriloquist, Newsboy – Tallulah Busch of Brookfield

Violin Kid, Newsboy – Gio Sprovieri of Hinsdale

Weber, Bourgeron-Cochon – Jeffery Siddall of Oak Park

Yonkers, Phil – Jason Nisavic of La Grange

Young Louise – Maeve Charlton of La Grange