Live at Lynn & Lynn‘s drama takes on an iconic production
By Taryn Super
On Feb. 26, the professional theater company, Live at Lynn, in collaboration with Lynn’s drama department along with the Lynn Philharmonia Orchestra presents the classic musical, “Gigi,” with the performance being a tribute to the late Jan McArt.
The musical is a is a coming-of-age story that takes place in Paris during the early 1900s. The original Broadway production starred Audrey Hepburn as Gigi. Since its 1951 debut, “Gigi” has been adopted by countless theaters with Lynn being one of the latest to join the list.
To learn more about the play, iPulse reached out to Crista Marie DeVito, who plays the title character of Gigi.
“The whole story is pretty much about this girl who us being taught to be a proper woman in society [with] her aunt and grandmother trying to train her to be a woman. The play displays the battle between what society wants you to be and you being able to be yourself. And sometimes there’s people in your life that allow you to be yourself,” said DeVito. “Social class, love story, coming of age, those are the keywords that describe Gigi.”
DeVito is honored to be playing the title character as she sees elements of the character within herself. She also admires Gigi’s desire to be who she is regardless of what others think.
According to DeVito:
When you take on different roles, you kind of take on their personalities and you need to find a similarity between yourself and the character, and the part of myself that I love the most that is a part of this character is her sense of youthfulness and optimism….She’s not naive, but she is very youthful in her ways, she just doesn’t get why people conform to everything that they are expected to do. She is a very free-spirited character and I love that about her.
For DeVito, the cast of “Gigi” is the best part of the production.
“The cast is what makes me excited for this show. The other leads in the show are professionals who happen to be working at Lynn right now, but they are still working actors….I believe it will be one of the best shows that Lynn has done, so I’m really excited about that,” said DeVito.
Many hours have gone into being prepared for this performance due to musicals requiring an extensive amount of preparation—both mentally and physically—due to the actors needing to tell the story through dance.
Regardless of the long hours, the rehearsal atmosphere of the “Gigi” production is very supportive due to the love and respect the cast has for each other.
“In theater, it’s the only profession in the world where you have to figure out how to have a relationship with someone that doesn’t exist in real life and to create that imaginative relationship, it takes a lot of work… The leads will spend a lot of time with each other at the rehearsals,” said DeVito.
Along with “Gigi” being a classic musical, performing this musical will be very meaningful for DeVito and the entire Lynn drama community since “Gigi” was going to be one of the last shows the late McArt was going to produce and direct prior to her death.
McArt, started Live at Lynn, and planned on producing and directing “Gigi,” but the original production was cancelled due to COVID and then McArt passed away before the musical could be carried out. As fate would have it, when McArt was younger, she starred in the play in the role of Gigi, making the Lynn production of “Gigi” a true tribute to McArt.
“This is a tribute to Jan and her legacy,” said DeVito. “It’s a beautiful story, we’ve put a lot of work into it and coming to the show in Jane’s memorial would mean so much to her.”
Lynn student, Crista Marie Devito, played the title role of Gigi in the production. Photo/C.Devito.
Live at Lynn & Lynn’s drama department presents Gigi, a classic musical about a free-spirited girl living in Paris during the early 1900s. Photo/A. Simpson.