Gypsy: A Musical Fable

From Academic Kids

Gypsy: A Musical Fable is a musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. and a book by Arthur Laurents. It is loosely based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and focuses on her struggle with her mother, Mama Rose, whose name has become synonymous with "the ultimate show business mother." It contains many songs that became popular standards, including "Small World," "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "You'll Never Get Away from Me," and "Let Me Entertain You."

The original staging, produced by David Merrick, opened on May 21, 1959 and starred Ethel Merman and Jack Klugman, with Sandra Church in the title role. Choreography was by Jerome Robbins.

Three songs were cut from the show: "Mama's Talkin' Soft," "[If I Had] Three Wishes for Christmas," and "She Ain't Nice."

In 1962, Warner Bros. released a film version, starring, respectively, Rosalind Russell, Karl Malden, and Natalie Wood. Lisa Kirk dubbed Rosalind Russell's singing voice, but Russell's attempts at singing were rediscovered on scratchy acetate discs and recently made available as supplements on the CD reissue of the film soundtrack.

The musical has been revived three times on Broadway, running from 1974-1975 with Angela Lansbury as Rose, from 1989-1991 with Tyne Daly initially as Rose, later replaced by Linda Lavin, and most recently in 2003 with Bernadette Peters.

The musical was also adapted as a television movie in 1993 with Bette Midler playing Rose. Cynthia Gibb portrays Louise and Jennifer Beck portrays Dainty June.

A 1998 production featuring Betty Buckley and Debbie Gibson at the Paper Mill Playhouse never made it to Broadway, but became a subject of some notoriety in the theatre community when e-mails from an anonymous cast member detailing the backstage behaviour of the stars became public. The author was eventually revealed as John Flynn, who has now done several New York stagings of his cabaret act (with parodies of Gypsy songs), Dances with Pitchforks, based on his experiences portraying non-Equity Farmboy 5.

In 2003, a Sam Mendes production of Gypsy played at the Shubert Theatre. Bernadette Peters played Rose, Tammy Blanchard portrays Louise, and John Dossett played Herbie.

Songs

  1. "Let Me Entertain You"
  2. "Some People"
  3. "Small World"
  4. "Baby June and Her Newsboys"
  5. "Mr. Goldstone, I Love You"
  6. "Little Lamb"
  7. "You'll Never Get Away From Me"
  8. "Dainty June and Her Farmboys"
  9. "If Momma Was Married"
  10. "All I Need is the Girl"
  11. "Everything's Coming Up Roses"
  12. "Together Wherever We Go"
  13. "You Gotta Have a Gimmick"
  14. "Let Me Entertain You" (reprise)
  15. "Rose's Turn"
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