Memories and a Mad Scene: Mary Martello in GYPSY at the Arden

Jun 5, 2017

The classic Broadway musical Gypsy is back, this time at the Arden Theatre through June 25th with Philly favorite Mary Martello in the role of Mama Rose. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns asks why this character is forever fascinating.


David Patrick Stearns: A showstopper? Or a mad scene? The Arden Theatre’s Mary Martello is the latest to walk that line in Gypsy in the great finale when Mama Rose has a musical meltdown.

Mary Martello: Everybody has left her. Everything has left her. She’s lost her whole purpose. She has nothing to plan or organize or dream about. I think it’s the first time in a long time that she’s actually had to look at herself.

DPS: A mother herself, Martello must ask why Mama Rose drags her daughters around the dying 1920s vaudeville circuit, dreaming about their stardom in ways that sound like sainthood. Mary’s answer:

MM: Once you’re a star, no one can hurt you. No one can stop you from being yourself.

DPS: Or so it goes inside her head. At Arden, the entire show is Rose’s flashback. Director Terry Nolen wanted to accentuate regret.

Terry Nolen: So that sense of how we grapple with the past as we live in the present was the goal.

DPS: Is she crazy? Justifiably wounded? Nolen won’t tinker with the show’s ambiguity.

TN: I love it! I love it!

DPS: That’s why we keep going back to Gypsy–together.