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Leslie Uggams To Star In 'Gypsy' In Connecticut

Headlining At Nutmeg Summer Series At UConn In Storrs

By FRANK RIZZO

Hartford Courant

4:05 PM EDT, April 18, 2014

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Leslie Uggams, the Tony and Emmy Award winning actress will be starring as Rose in Connecticut Repertory Theatre's production of "Gypsy"  July 10 to 20. 

It is the third  and final show in the 2014 Summer Nutmeg Series, which includes the musical "A Chorus Line" (June 5 to 14) and the Neil Simon comedy "The Sunshine Boys" (June 19 to 29) starring Jerry Adler and Richard Kline.

All shows will be at the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre on the campus of UConn in Storrs.

Uggams, a star of the stage and screen for six decades, is perhaps best known as a Tony-award-winning Broadway actress ("Hallelujah, Baby!") and for her role of Kizzy in the TV mini-series Alex Haley’s  "Roots,"  for which she received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. 

Uggams recently starred in the Broadway-bound world premiere of "Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Story" at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. 

Other Broadway credits include "Blues in the Night," "Jerry's Girls," "Her First Roman," "Anything Goes," "King Hedley II"  (Tony Award nomination), "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and "On Golden Pond" co-starring with James Earl Jones. Off Broadway she starred in "The Old Settler." She also starred in a production of that play at Hartford's TheaterWorks in 2000.

Uggams also performed her solo show, "Uptown Downtown" at the Cabaret and Performance Conference at ythe Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford in 2010.

Uggams' television career began at the age of 6, portraying Ethel Waters’ niece on the TV series "Beulah." As a teenager she became the first African American performer to be featured on a weekly national primetime series as a regular on "Sing Along With Mitch." In 1970 she hosted her own primetime variety series "The Leslie Uggams Show."

A Juilliard graduate, Uggams has performed to critical and popular acclaim ever since her first professional appearances as a child at the famed Apollo Theater, opening for such legends as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington.

Artistic director Vincent J. Cardinal said: “We are honored and thrilled to have an artist of this talent and magnitude joining us at CRT to play this challenging and iconic role.” 

Single tickets are $10 to $43. Information: 860-486-2113 and www.crt.uconn.edu.