From left: Jesse, Joshua, and Joey Gregory
For Joey, Jesse, and Joshua Gregory, the musical "Gypsy" is a family affair — and not just because of the story being told on stage.
Joey and Jesse, who met at Pittsburg State where they marched in band, both have character roles in the production, as does their son, Joshua, age 20 months.
For Jesse, the theatre has been a second home since childhood.
“My first show with PCT was The Hobbit (2003), and I was hooked,” she said. “I love the sense of community it creates.”
She went on to work as a counselor for Jr. Starz Children’s Summer Theatre Workshop, and landed roles in plays at Pittsburg Community Middle School and Pittsburg High School, including “Godspell,” “Beauty & the Beast,” and “Seussical,” and served as stage manager for Pitt State’s production of “Dead Man’s Cell Phone.”
She was drawn to audition for "Gypsy," she said, because after sitting out a few seasons while pregnant with Joshua and during his infancy, she missed her theatre family.
“There are old people I grew up with, and new people who are interesting to meet, and all of them accept you for whoever you are,” she said.
By comparison, theatre wasn’t part of Joey’s youth growing up in McLouth, Kansas. He played a munchkin in a K-12 production of "Wizard of Oz," and that was about it.
“I convinced him to audition for 'Gypsy' since Josh and I were going to do it,” Jesse said.
Joey, who works as a receptionist and family support staffer for KVC, reluctantly agreed.
“I pretty much did it because she told me to,” he laughed.
“But then I got nervous and excited when the cast list got announced. I was waiting for that call.”
He was cast as Cigar — a rough, rather aggressive owner of a burlesque theatre in Wichita, Kansas.
Young Joshua, who has quickly grown at ease in Memorial Auditorium and enjoys climbing up and down the stairs, was cast as Baby Swami and enjoys showing off the enormous turban he’ll get to wear.
Jesse will be Baby Swami Mama and Weber, a theatre manager in Los Angeles.
"We're having a lot of fun doing this together," she said.
Don't miss the Gregory family on stage in "Gypsy" July 28-31; tickets are on sale now at www.memorialauditorium.org and at the box office at 503 N. Pine, 620-231-7827.