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Theatre Aspen announces casts for mainstage summer musicals

‘Gypsy,’ ‘Jersey Boys’ on tap for July and August

Hurst Theatre, photographed by Mike Lyons.
Theatre Aspen/Courtesy photo

When Theatre Aspen stages “Gypsy” this July at the Hurst Theatre in Rio Grande Park, the company will be producing what has long been considered a top-tier Golden Age musical.

But it’s really only sort of a musical, according to Hannah Ryan, who will be directing the production about a 1920s showbiz family this summer.

“It’s very much a play with music,” Ryan said. “People tend to think of it as one of the greatest Golden Age musicals, which it definitely is, but the majority of the score is sung by Mama Rose, and it’s very story driven.”



The storyteller in question will be played by Cassondra James, who takes on the role of Mama Rose after stints on the playbill for “Suffs” and “Once on this Island.”

Cassondra James.
Courtesy photo

Theatre Aspen announced the casts for both “Gypsy: A Musical Fable” (running June 27 through July 23) and “Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons” (running Aug. 1-23) on Tuesday in conjunction with the launch of single ticket sales.




Harry Bouvy, from the national tour of “Wicked,” is slated to play Herbie, and Shea Gomez, from the national and international tour of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” is on tap to play Louise, one of Rose’s daughters.

The cast also includes Mike Backes (“A Bronx Tale” and the national tour of “Jersey Boys”), Kayla Goins (NBC’s “Annie Live!”), Keith Lee Grant (“Marie Christine”), Marissa Medina (“Chicago Med”), Michael Rios (from the national tour of “Newsies”), Abby C. Smith (from the Broadway iteration of “SpongeBob SquarePants”), Laura Stracko (“Diana”) and Jayke Workman (“Chicago”).

Hollie Wright will be the choreographer. Andy Einhorn will serve as music director.

Later this summer, Theatre Aspen regular Hunter Foster will be at the helm of “Jersey Boys,” a musical featuring the songs of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons — with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons crooners as its main characters. Foster will be channeling nostalgia for the 1960s and 1970s this time around after last year’s Theatre Aspen run of the 1980s jukebox musical “Rock of Ages.”

“That doowop era … it was a certain time, and there was a certain style to it, which I think is really exciting,” Foster said.

Trevor James.
Courtesy photo

The role of Valli goes to Trevor James, from television’s “WeCrashed” and “Prodigal Son.” The Four Seasons crew includes Nick Bernardi (“Chicago Fire”) as Tommy DeVito, Jason Michael Evans (from the national tour of “Anastasia”) as Nick Massi and Alex Ross (from “The Book of Mormon”) as Bob Guadio.

The cast list includes several names from the “Gypsy” cohort, including Backes, Gomez, Medina and Workman, as well as Nicolas Fernandez (from the “Jersey Boys” national tour), Ana Marcu (“90210! The Musical”) and Alex Nicholson (from the “We The People” national tour).

Ray Mercer is the choreographer, and Eric Alsford is the musical director.

For more information about tickets and the full Theatre Aspen summer lineup, visit theatreaspen.org or call (970) 300-4474.

kwilliams@aspentimes.com