© 2021 | Doug DeVita
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eugene O'neill semi-finalist, 2021
“I think it is absolutely brilliant. It was fascinating to me because of course
I was a part of it, but it's the appeal that Gypsy has that Doug capitalizes on
and brings forth in a very delicious way.”
– Lane Bradbury, Dainty June in Gypsy, 1959
I never met June Havoc, but I did speak to hear many times when she'd call
Abingdon Theatre Company, where I worked as Marketing Director.
One morning June called, and oh, was she in a mood. An(other) upcoming revival of Gypsy had her quite stressed, and she was going to talk to anyone who'd answered the phone. I knew about her antipathy towards the show, I'd read about her efforts to stop it from being done at all; indeed, we'd all been instructed never to bring up the subject of Gypsy with her in any conversation. But this was different: she brought the subject up herself. And while I listened to her raging, for the first time I realized how deeply the show troubled her, even all those years later. She felt – and rightly so – her own life and reputation was misrepresented and her legacy cemented in a fable that would never go away.
Fable. A Fable About A Musical Fable was born out of that conversation. And while I would never lay claim to any truth-telling in this play – it is, after all entitled Fable – I cannot deny that June, like her mother and her sister, was a bit of a fable spinner herself. But I hope I at least shine a spotlight to her side of the story, and entertain you at the same time.