Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Homegrown 'Gypsy' quality production.(Entertainment)

Byline: David Steinberg Journal Staff Writer

The Musical Theatre Southwest version of the Broadway hit musical "Gypsy" has so many strong production values that one would think it's a touring road company.

Not so. It's a homegrown show.

From top to bottom, Saturday night's opening MTS performance at Popejoy Hall gets two thumbs up.

The leads were compellingly portrayed from the commanding presence of Marina Garcia-Gelpe as the domineering backstage Mama Rose to Giovanna Garafalo as ugly duckling-turned-beauty daughter Louise to Piper Kroth and Arielle Siegel as the two youngsters who played Rose's daughter June at different ages.

The supporting cast did its job in the choreographed numbers and in their sung and spoken lines from the wee dancers in the early vaudeville acts to the grown dancers in the later acts to the three scene-stealing burlesque strippers, Jaye Grout Franchell as Tessie Tura, Wendy Leverenz-Barker as Mazeppa and Pamela Powers as Electra. …

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