To see Parker Leas perform with grace and beauty as Clara in Midwest Regional Ballet's "The Nutcracker," one would never guess she'd be cast in "Gypsy" as Baby Louise, the slightly awkward sister of the talented Baby June, who is always in the limelight.
The Joplin eighth grader says performing awkwardly in this role was inspired by her own awkwardness off the stage: "At home and in gym, I'm actually kind of clumsy," she said.
Parker, who is one of Kaye Lewis' junior company dancers with Midwest Regional Ballet, has performed in "Nightmare Before Christmas," "Alice in Steampunk Wonderland," and "Cats," and in PCT was a munchkin and flying monkey in "The Wizard of Oz." She was inspired to try out for "Gypsy" after seeing it a few years ago at Joplin Little Theatre.
Her mother, Staci, drives her to Pittsburg from Joplin each night for rehearsals and performances, which Parker says she appreciates "very much."
"I just love being on stage," she said.
Don't miss Parker on stage as Baby Louise 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.