Bringing Joy Despite Trial From Broadway to KC

2 mins read

A Broadway star who overcame great personal odds is making her way to KC in June.

Tina Maddigan (Mayer) will play Mama Rose in Music Theater Heritage’s summer production of “Gypsy.”

Maddigan, who is best known for originating the lead role of Sophie “Mamma Mia!” and for her portrayal of Julia Gulia in the original Broadway production of “The Wedding Singer,” had emergency spinal surgery in 2018 that left her vocal cords paralyzed.

She was forced to leave the stage to rehabilitate.

During her recovery time, Maddigan has been showcasing her comedic talents on TikTok. She has amassed over a half a million followers.  Her celebrity impressions, characters and original sketches not only make people smile, but she recently raised over $10,000 during an online concert for the American Heart Association in honor of her mother, who passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack.

Maddigan is thrilled to return to the spotlight at MTH. 

And I’m inspired by Maddigan’s joy, courage and tenacity. While I’m not sure if she is a believer, we can all learn from her. As I dug into her story, James 1 came to mind. James 1:2-3, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

At many points in her life, Maddigan could have felt mad, sad, frustrated or even defeated. But she pressed on and shared joy with others throughout the process.

“Gypsy,” one of Stephen Sondheim’s earliest contributions to musical theater, will run from June 15 – July 9 at MTH. It is the ultimate tale of an ambitious stage mother fighting for her daughters’ success – while secretly yearning for her own.

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