There isn’t a person on the planet more suited to play Mama Rose Hovick in “Gypsy” than Susan Boilek Smith.

As Rose, the ultimate stage mother of future star Gypsy Rose Lee, she enters with a power walk up the aisle into a scene where her daughters are auditioning for vaudeville, and she power-talks them into the show.

With this entrance, Smith sets the energy level for not only her own pushy, all-or-nothing character but the entire cast in Footlite Musicals’ production of “Gypsy.”

As the story goes, Mama Rose drags her two daughters, Baby June (Rogue Salyers) and Baby Louise (Hancock County’s Brynn Elliott), from theater to theater and city to city, through the vaudeville circuit of the 1920s and ’30s, trying to break into show business and make them into stars.

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The girls grow up on stage, and eventually, grown-up June (Stacia Ann Hulen) breaks from the act to strike out on her own, leaving Rose with the less talented, less animated grown-up Louise (Elise Annette Delap). Through a right-place-at-the-right-time moment, Louise finds herself awkwardly filling in at burlesque house, but she

At a glance

Footlite Musicals’ presents “Gypsy”

Located at 1847 N. Alabama, Indianapolis

Performances are May 19-22

Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 P.M.

Sunday matinee is at 2:30 P.M.

Visit for more information

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Christine Schaefer is arts editor and editorial assistant at the Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3222 or