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Gypsy - Exciting Production with an Exhilarating Take on Ambition and Family Conflict

'Gypsy' is an excellent musical about a family in Vaudeville. The mother is overbearing trying to make the children, specifically the daughters, create a wildly famous act. It is at Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire, Illinois directed by Amanda Dehnert.

An initial striking character is Rose, played by Lucia Spina. She brings great energy and urgency right from the get-go that captures the audience's attention. Rose intensely rushes and pushes her children, Louise (Lauren Maria Medina) and June (Tori Heinlein), to fulfill bold theater dreams as a family. There are spirited performances at the beginning with Young Louise played by Elin Joy Seiler and Baby June played by Daryn Whitney Harrell.

The production takes an exhilarating turn at the song "Mr. Goldstone," when the family gains the connection to a powerful theater figure Mr. Goldstone played with an idiosyncratic charm by Sawyer Smith. The "Mr. Goldstone" number highlights the epic singing skills of Lucia Spina as Rose. All musical numbers have great choreography.

Another force in Act I is Tulsa, played by J'Kobe Wallace. The budding romance between Tulsa and June (Tori Heinlein) has a more carefree tenderness that is expressed in standout dance choreography. The more relaxed yet gleeful pacing of the number "All I Need Is the Girl" toward the end of Act I contrasts the relentlessness overdrive of the musical numbers starring Rose. This demonstrates the excellent quality of this production of 'Gypsy' that the pacing and sense of speed frequently varies, which makes it highly engaging for viewers.

Set design and lighting shines in Act II, where characters are constantly on tour in different areas. The stage set up demonstrates their changes in location in clear and innovative ways. The joy of many different locations, from Wichita, Kansas to New York City, adds to the charm of the Act II.

The production comes to a captivating emotional climax towards the end of Act II, powered by dialogue expertly directed by Amanda Dehnert. Dialogue between Rose, played by Lucia Spina, Herbie, played by Nathaniel Stampley, and Louise, played by Lauren Maria Medina, is extremely expressive. One of the core narratives of mother-daughter conflict and expectation is made widely resonant to all viewers by the amazing acting.

The themes of ambition, expectation, family, adventure, and joy are expressed in a thought-provoking and relevant way to all viewers.