By Rachel M. Anderson Gypsy Nights Lives on Tour

(Broadway, N.Y.) – Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of those wonderfully performed Broadway shows? Are the dancer/actors really the best of friends, or are members of the cast constantly at each other’s throats? What is the environment like? Can you really feel the electricity in the air when you are on stage?

Readers get some insight in “Gypsy Nights,” the new novel by retired Broadway dancer Christine Fournier. The story is purely fiction, but based on Fournier’s participation in the national tours of “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying,” which played in 22 U.S. cities in 1963 and 1964.

“I was going through my papers one day and found in a scrapbook I had kept of my career a route sheet which was of the original ‘How to Succeed in Business’ national tour,” says Fournier. “I pulled it out and it was like this wonderful wash of memories came over me. I thought this would make an interesting story.”

So, after 50 years in show business, she decided it was time to share with others an insider’s view of the work and lifestyle of ‘gypsies,’ dancers who go from show to show.  To do this she took out a notepad and started to make notes about what she remembered about each stop on the tour, then she started to write.

The resulting manuscript, “Gypsy Nights,” is the story of Mally Winthrop, an ambitious young dancer from Minnesota who wants more than anything else in the world to dance on Broadway. When she finally gets her chance, she wows the choreographer and is cast in “Bravo Business,” a hit show that is scheduled to be remounted as a national tour.

Patricia Byrne, a young women she met at the audition, is cast as well, and the two quickly become friends and roommates. “My character, Mally, is based on me, being brought up by a single mother in Minnesota. Patricia is based on my best friend of 50 years, but that is where the similarities end,” says Fournier.

All of the other characters are made up, and based on experiences Fournier had while on tour. In addition to delving into personal relationships between the characters, Fournier also describes the technical aspects of putting on a show.

Readers have a front row seat as the tracks are laid down and the sets are rolled out, lights set up and the speakers put into place. Then, when it’s time to move to the next city, everything is taken down and packed back into the trucks. There is also plenty of detail of what it was like to live out of a trunk and travel from city to city by plane, train and bus.

Fournier has dedicated the book to her mother, Helen Winter LaCaze, who saw her talent, enthusiasm and passion for performing at a young age and encouraged her to follow her dreams. In the book’s acknowledgements, she also thanks all the performing artists, mentors, friends and family who supported and inspired her during her career. She singled out the late director and choreographer, Bob Fosse, saying his talent inspired her and his mentorship shaped her talent.

“‘Gypsy Nights’ will take you on an adventure. I hope in some way to entice you, excite you, and take you to a world that is truly unique and seldom experienced by the general public,” says Fournier.

“Gypsy Nights” is available for purchase online through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com. The book is available in printed form for $9.95 and as an ebook for $4.95.

The next book in the series will be “Gypsy City.” It is based on the time period when Fournier came off the road and was cast in the original “Sweet Charity.”

# # #

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article and its accompanying photography are being offered to you cost free and copyright free. Rachel M. Anderson is a freelance writer who has written professionally for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Tampa Tribune newspapers.

To arrange an interview of your own with Christine Fournier, contact Rachel M. Anderson at 952-240-2513 or via e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.