Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Little Theatre of Alexandria Gypsy

By • Jul 29th, 2009 • Category: Reviews
Little Theatre of Alexandria
Little Theatre of Alexandria, Alexandria, VA
Playing through August 15th
Reviewed July 26th, 2009

Until this past Sunday afternoon , I have never seen a production of Gypsy. Gypsy is one of those shows that people always talk about, but I never had a chance to see. After seeing the performance at the Little Theatre in Alexandria this Sunday, I have absolutely fallen in love with this musical. Especially the character Rose, who can at the least be described as the ultimate stage mom. Going great distances and often crossing the line, Rose strives to make her daughters stars. Rose dances carelessly on the line between rationality and irrationality. The motives of her character can spark a good argument. Was she justified for what she did for her children or did she take it too far? All she ever wanted was to see was her children become stars, doing whatever it took to make her dreams–I mean their dreams–come true.

First and foremost I would like to applaud all of the children in this production, who were just too cute, not to mention very talented. Good way to start off a show is with small children singing and dancing, it immediately provokes ear to ear smiles from the audience, and a constant chorus of “awwwww.”

The Gypsy band seemed to struggle a bit in the beginning of the show. Particularly in the overture, there were times when the band was off beat and not able to keep up with the change in tempo. Other things like notes being played during silent moments were very distracting.

Mrs. Nicky McDonnell as Rose Hovick was absolutely fantastic, she truly made the show worthwhile. She had a great sense of her character’s inner monologue that gave her motivation for doing what she did. No matter how ridiculous it may seem to everyone else, it all made sense to her, which makes her a very persuasive lady. McDonnell also had a sharp comedic timing that is required for a character as witty as Rose. McDonnell has a very powerful voice, her range is explored all throughout the show up until the end during the number “Rose’s Turn” where she just explodes! Everything that has been brewing inside of her comes out in this song, and it was a truly amazing moment in the show.

Sara Jane Lilley who played Louise, has a real talent, acting wise she was one of the best. Her character made a significant journey from the beginning of the play when she was a shy misunderstood girl in her sister’s shadow, until the end when she found her gimmick and realized how great could she be. It was a beautiful performance. She has a strong voice, and a good sense of comedic timing as she displayed in the number “Let Me Entertain You.” She was able to provoke all kinds of emotions from the audience, happiness, sadness joy and anger.

Mickey Daguiso had a smaller role, but left a lasting impression in his number “All I Need is the Girl.” It wasn’t until this point in the show anyone realized his singing and dancing abilities, not to mention his smile, that will make you go “aww.” My only complaint would be during his tap number, there was an incongruence between his tapping, and the rhythm from the band which made it hard to watch at times.

With such a huge cast, this is a show where people can really showcase their individual talents. As a whole the performance was pretty strong mainly due to the momentum of Nicky McDonnell and Sara Jane Lilley. Despite all of the awe inspiring moments the show dealt with a few serious subjects. There were many scenes that were meant to be funny, but others that were not. Some members in the audience seemed to be in a laughing frenzy and were laughing during some very serious moments. Now whether these moments were meant to be funny or not is anybody’s guess, but my hope is that people will not miss the message amongst the comedic elements of the play.

Photo Gallery

Jennifer Strand as Electra, Kathy Sanders as Mazeppa, and Ashley Edmiston as Tessie Tura Sara Jane Lilley as Louise
Jennifer Strand as Electra, Kathy Sanders as Mazeppa, and Ashley Edmiston as Tessie Tura
Sara Jane Lilley as Louise
Elise Kolle (newsboy), Clare Baker (newsboy), Maya Brettell (Baby June), Lauren Charles (young Louise), Elizabeth Rader (newsboy), and Maura O’Reilly Sara Jane Lilley (Louise), J. Andrews Simmons (Herbie), Nicky McDonnell (Rose)
Elise Kolle (newsboy), Clare Baker (newsboy), Maya Brettell (Baby June), Lauren Charles (young Louise), Elizabeth Rader (newsboy), and Maura O’Reilly
Sara Jane Lilley (Louise), J. Andrews Simmons (Herbie), Nicky McDonnell (Rose)


  • Uncle Jacko: Christopher Silva
  • George: J.J. Stinson
  • Arnold: Ethan Slater
  • Mothers: Tracy Dunn, Ashley Edmiston, Kathy Sanders, Jennifer Strand
  • Balloon Girl: Maura O’Reilly
  • Gymnast: Clare Baker
  • Ballerina: Elise Kolle
  • Clarice: Elizabeth Rader
  • Tap Dancers: Madeline Bryan, James Robertson
  • Roller Skater: Rebecca Phillips
  • Jazz Dancer: Celine Daubresse
  • Young Louise: Lauren Charles
  • Baby June: Maya Brettell
  • Rose: Nicky McDonnell
  • Pop: Steve Lada
  • Tap Dancing Urchin: Clare Baker
  • Boy Scouts: Elise Kolle, Elizabeth Rader
  • Rich Man: Rae Edmonson
  • Rich Man’s Son: Maura O’Reilly
  • Boys With Signs: James Robertson, Ethan Slater, J.J. Stinson
  • Weber: Christopher Silva
  • Herbie: J. Andrew Simmons
  • Young Newsboys: Clare Baker, Lauren Charles, Elise Kolle, Maura O’Reilly, Elizabeth Rader
  • Louise: Sara Jane Lilley
  • Dainty June: Laura Anne Knockenhauer
  • Older Newsboys: Mickey Daguiso, James Robertson, Ethan Slater, J.J. Stinson
  • Yonkers: James Robertson
  • L.A.: Ethan Slater
  • Tulsa: Mickey Daguiso
  • Angie: J.J. Stinson
  • Kringelein: Rae Edmonson
  • Neighbors: Madeline Bryan, Celine Daubresse, Tracy Dunn, Ashley Edmonston, Rebecca Phillips, Kathy Sanders, Christopher Silva, Jennifer Strand
  • Mr. Goldstone: Steve Lada
  • Waitress: Tracy Dunn
  • Miss Cratchitt: Jennifer Strand
  • Farmboys: Mickey Daguiso, Sara Jane Lilley, James Robertson, Ethan Slater, J.J. Stinson
  • Cow (Act 1) Sara Jane Lilley, Rebecca Phillips
  • Train Passengers: Madeline Bryan, Celine Daubresse, Tracy Dunn, Rebecca Phillips, Christopher Silva
  • Train Workers: Rae Edmonson, Steve Lada
  • Toreadorables/Hollywood Blondes: Madeline Bryan, Celine Daubresse, Tracy Dunn, Rebecca Phillips, Mickey Daguiso, Ethan Slater
  • Cow (Act 2): Mickey Daguiso, Ethan Slater
  • Agnes: Rebecca Phillips
  • Cigar: Steve Lada
  • Marjorie May: Celine Daubresse
  • Edna: Madeline Bryan
  • Dolores: Tracy Dunn
  • Pastey: Rae Edmonson
  • Willey: Christopher Silva
  • Stagehands: James Robertson, J.J. Stinson
  • Tessie Tura: Ashley Edmiston
  • Mazeppa: Kathy Sanders
  • Electra: Jennifer Strand
  • Showgirls: Madeline Bryan, Celine Daubresse, Tracy Dunn, Rebecca Phillips
  • Renee: Celine Daubresse
  • Phil: Christopher Silva
  • Photographer: Ethan Slater
  • Bougeron-Cochon: Steve Lada
  • Announcer: Wayne Vance


  • Producers: Margaret Evans-Joyce, Sharon Field, Rance Willis
  • Assistant Producers: Eileen Doherty, Robbie Herbst
  • Director: Joanna Henry
  • Assistant Director: Heather Franklin
  • Musical Director: Christopher A. Tomasino
  • Choreographer: Kay Kasstevens
  • Stage Managers: Joan A.S. Lada, Sheila Price
  • Assistant Stage Managers: Charles Dragonette, Adrian Steel
  • Property Design: Kira Simon, Joanne Tompkins, Jayn Rife, Margaret Snow
  • Show Card Designs and Construction: MYKE
  • Set Decoratiion: Nancyanne Burton, Jean and Allen Stuhl
  • Set Design: Ken Crowley
  • Set Construction: Chris Feldman, Gail Cafardi, Jimmy Hutzler, Orron Key, Bob King, Paul Morton, Jeff Nesmeyer, Dan Remmers, Jack Schaeffer, Art Snow, Allen Stuhl, Rance Willis, Jerry Wolf
  • Set painting: Kevin O’Dowd, Leslie Reed, Jimmy and Mary Hutzler, Buffy Mechling
  • Lighting Design: Ken and Patti Crowley
  • Master Electician: Nancy Owens, Casey Brusnahan, Eileen Doherty, Heather Franklin, Pam Leonowich, Mike O’Connor, Liz Owens, Donna Reynolds, Liz Sabin, Dick Schwab, Carrie Vernon
  • Sound Design: David Correia, Keith Bell, Anna Hawkins, Bill Rinehuls, Janice Rivera, Alan Wray
  • Costume Grant Kevin Lane, pat Carpenter, Hannah Goldman, Patty Greksouk, Mary Bea Littrell, Lauren McDevitt, Robin Parker, Dan patton, Bill Powers
  • Wardrobe: Barbara Helsing, Margaret Snow, Rachel Alberts, Georgia Allan-Hadley, Dine Bker, Cindi Charles, Wendy Jessup, Rebecca Johnson, Maria Leibowitz, Julia Mancini, Damon Mock, Rachel Pharr, Suzanne Rader, Mary Beth Smith-Toomey, Russell Wyland, Nicole Zuchetto
  • Makeup and Hair: Bette Williams
  • Assistant Makeup and Hair: Maria Simpkins, Paul Morton
  • Rigging: Russell Wyland
  • Photographer: Shane Canfield
  • Auditions: David Correia, Barbara Helsing, Elizabeth Herbst, Margaret Snow
  • Audition Accompanist: Lori Roddy
  • Rehearsal Pianists: Jihae Lim, Lori Roddy
  • Dance Captains: Madeline Bryan, Celine Daubresse
  • Double Tech Dinner: Sharon and Lenard Dove
  • Opening Night Party: Frank D. Shutts II, Ron Field, Kim Newball, Mary Beth Smith-Toomey, Myke Taister and Frank Winters
  • Dramaturg: Geri Silver

The Gypsy Band

  • Conductor: Christopher A. Tomasino
  • Reeds: Gwyn Jones, Mila Weiss, Christopher A. Tomasino, Dana Gardner, Sean Delaney, Brian Cole, Blake Rose
  • Horn: Mark Deal, Deb Kline, Damon Nelson
  • Trumpets: Terry Bradley, Paul Weiss, Scott Firestone, Dave Flickinger, Curt Nette
  • Trombones: Chris Bradley, Scott Fridy, Robin Olson, Bill Wright, Harold Rhoads, Rick Schutz
  • Piano: Jihae Lim, Lori Roddy
  • Bass: David Burreli, Graham Kolle
  • Percussion: Matt Hardy, Jim Hofmann
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is currently a student in the theatre arts program at Howard University pursuing a B.F.A in acting. Her plans are to go on to grad school to study Voice and Speech. Her credits include work on and off the stage, and she can be seen in the upcoming production of The Laramie Project with the Providence Players.

3 Responses »

  1. You have written an excellent review, far better than the one in the Gazette. It was interesting and detailed enough to make me order tickets. Thank you.

  2. I went to see the production last evening and totally agree with your assessment. Good job.

  3. I have just a few disagreements with the reviewer. The night we went (2 weeks after the performance the reviewer saw), the band was top-notch and the brass section was the best I’ve ever heard from a community theater orchestra. Similarly, I thought Mickey DaGuiso’s dancing was very good indeed – thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I also enjoyed the strippers in You Gotta Have a Gimmick. This number can be painful if not well cast, but all 3 did a great job, both individually (was Mazeppa blowing her own trumpet?) and when they sang together.