I had never seen the Midler version until last week; damn, but it''s awful. So I watched the Russell version--which I had always thought was leaden--just to compare. It''s far better. Every musical number is superior. ALL the performers (even those who can''t sing, like Russell and Wood) come off better.\
What went wrong? Midler is a real talent, but she just sucks here. Blame the director?
paul wallace''s skin tight pants
I think that Midler is essentially a personality who''s at her best in live performances. On the big and small screens, due to closeups, she becomes unbearable and mugs shamelessly.
I think Cynthia Gibb was far superior to Wood and Riegert was a great Herbie. The movie is really good but Midler isn''t.
I like the Russell-Wood "Gypsy." I think Russell''s Rose is like Faye Dunaway''s Joan Crawford, too close to the real thing for comfort. %0D\
I think it was Bette''s fault. She got the opportunity and she choked. In her defense she probably didn''t have as much rehearsal time as she needed to develop a really good Rose of her own. So she settled for "I''ll just be cute and sparkly and hope everybody likes me." %0D\
I thought Cynthia Gibb was very good as Louise. I didn''t really get the casting of Peter Riegert as Herbie. Michael Jeter was just wasted as Mr. Goldstone. %0D
They both sucked. In fact the show itself sucked. No one outside gay men in New York liked it.
I think Bette Midler is really a stage actress - meaning she doesn''t do well in close-up because you see that she''s rather mechanical. I definitely saw that in her GYPSY. Like a bad community theater performance.%0D\
Matthew Broderick is another. Perhaps it''s something that can happen to people who come from theater first. Presentation over depth. Learning a role physically before emotionally.
[quote]In fact the show itself sucked. No one outside gay men in New York liked it.\
You funny. You say funny thing. Say more funny thing. I will laugh.
Who would be ideal in the title role of ''Nipsey''? I had no idea his life was a rich tapestry just made to be exploited by the musical theater.
The Midler Gypsy is a real disappointment. Though I thought Cynthia Gibb was quite good.%0D\
Midler aside, it''s really let down by the TV production values.
Regarding Rigert, I believe he and Midler dated in the 70''s, which may have been the ONLY reason he got the gig.\
I''m partial to the ''62 version, mainly because it was the first soundtrack I knew all the words to as a little girl.
I though Cynthia Gibb was wonderful in this production- she really surprised me.
One thing I hate about the 62 version is Lisa Kirk''s vocals. She''s a fine singer but she''s not half the actress Russell was.%0D\
Maybe someday they''ll put Russell''s vocals back in the film, suitably autotuned of course.
[quote]Maybe someday they''ll put Russell''s vocals back in the film, suitably autotuned of course.%0D\
Get in line.
You lost me at "Midler is a real talent." Correct it to read "Midler is a real bitch," and you may have something.
Bette couldn''t understand how she lost the Emmy that year to Kirstie Alley.\
She later said she was pissed.
I wonder what happened to Paul Wallace/Tulsa? Nothing much on IMDB after "Gypsy." I suppose he quit the business or died or both.
[quote]Maybe someday they''ll put Russell''s vocals back in the film, suitably autotuned of course.%0D\
She''s very good in "Have an Egg Roll, Mr. Goldstone," where her own voice is used. %0D\
The youtube poster Lostvocals has matched Russell''s actual vocal tracks to the movie. Fun to watch Russell actually singing "Everything''s Coming Up Roses."
Bette is playing to the balcony in this; she fairly screeches every syllable. Didn''t the director die of AIDS shortly after making this film? The 1962 film is no masterpiece, either, and I don''t like that they cut "Wherever We Go" from the final film. It would have been good to see Ethel Merman in the lead, as she originated the part and Russell is just wrong to me in this film, and I always liked Ros.
Riegert was obviously Jewish and Herbie wasn''t. Herbie is supposed to be a midwestern guy. And, of course, Midler was obviously Jewish which Rose wasn''t. I never believed Cynthia Gibb as her daughter.
Why wasn''t Herbie Jewish? Many managers and club owners during that time were Jewish.
R16, I just tried to watch RR doing "Roses," but I couldn''t make it past "Starting here, starting now." Painful. To see someone struggling for notes that early in the song is just... weird, if nothing else.\
Roz has heart and guts, and (unike most Roses), you can imagine her being an actual love interest for Herbie. But the voice...\
Bette''s just the opposite.\
I wish Sondheim hadn''t talked Laurents out of another shot at a "definitive" film of Gypsy. True, the appeal of theater is that it keeps being reinvented, and there are a million potentially definitive interpretations...\
But it would have been nice to see another stab at it. Just for shits.
Moo moo moo moo.
You all talk about the Gibb girl like she''s someone we should know. Who is/was she?%0D\
And who played Tulsa in the MIdler version?
Tulsa was played by someone called Jeffrey Broadhurst, whose last role was in Miss Spacey''s epic, "Beyond the Sea". Casting couch special.
Yep, and I bet Broadhurst was awfully busiy servicing Neil Meron,Craig Zadan, Kenny Ortega and Arthur Laurents to secure his role in the Midler version.
The real-life counterpart to Herbie was Jewish. He was only the manager of Dainty June and Company for a few years while the girls were still young. \
GYPSY is a loveless story with lesbian overtones. The one time The Boy actually gets The Girl it''s a calamity. It breaks up the act!\
GYPSY is more popular among theatrical types than with "outsiders," who are the ones that kept the original SOUND OF MUSIC running twice as long on Broadway as GYPSY.
"I wonder what happened to Paul Wallace/Tulsa? Nothing much on IMDB after "Gypsy." I suppose he quit the business or died or both."%0D\
I thought the same thing, #15 when I last watched the 1962 version. I googled him, but nothing. Although, I do remember reading a bio years ago on Anthony Perkins which mentioned that he had had a brief affair with Wallace.%0D\
I haven''t seen the Midler version since it aired, but I do remember being impressed with Gibb''s performance and thinking she was the best thing about it. Midler sucked.
I just saw Merman in the screen version of Call Me Madam. Not good. And she originated the role on stage as well. Something about the camera killed her charisma.%0D\
I wish they''d done a 1970s remake with Angela Lansbury. Maybe Sally Field as Louise...%0D\
I also wish Dolores Gray had done it in London soon after the original production and recorded a cast album... And to think someone paid for a Kay Medford cast album of Gypsy...%0D\
"Tulsa was played by someone called Jeffrey Broadhurst, whose last role was in Miss Spacey''s epic, "Beyond the Sea". Casting couch special."%0D\
Idon''t know about the casting couch piece, but a guy I knew dated Jeffrey in the 90''s and said he was hung like a horse. %0D\
I''ve always thought the 1962 version was good -- Russell wasn''t a singer and she was nothing like Merman, but I think it''s a good performance, and before I saw Patti LuPone do it, I would say I considered it definitive. Tyne Daly was good, Bernadette Peters completely miscast and over hear head.\
The ''62 version also had great production values, and I believe that the people playing Tulsa and the strippers in ''You Gotta Have A Gimmick'' were the ones who originated the parts on Broadway. \
All I remember about the Midler version was how awful she was. Wood was lovely and melting, not the lying steamroller the real Gypsy was (she was much closer in personality to her mother than she would have wanted anyone to know) but the stripper montage is still exciting, I think, and Orry-Kelly''s clothes throughout are the best I''ve ever seen for any incarnation of this show, stage or screen.
"A fair rule-of-thumb with Bette Midler films is that they become more unwatchable in direct proportion to their distance from her stage act, which is brazen and foul- mouthed enough to absorb any amount of schmaltz. On this scale, Gypsy, an untimely remake of the Styne / Sondheim / Robbins musical about Gypsy Rose Lee, ranks somewhere around the mid- way point: not as ghastly as Beaches, not as much fun as Ruthless People. But it's still pretty dreary stuff, partly because the musical sticks to showcasing her paint-stripping voice so doggedly that it leaves no space for her wit.
Gypsy's director, the late Emile Ardolino, coaxes a grand total of three expressions from Midler: head tilted back, nostrils flared (signifying gallons of chutzpah); head tilted back, eyes crinkled (irresistible good nature); and head tilted back, mouth yards open (belting out yet another number). Ardolino's visuals are hardly any less monotonous. His style doesn't have the kind of heightened realism that can give musical numbers a lift: it just looks half-hearted and fake."
[quote]The ''62 version also had great production values\
You mean the cardboard cacti and the train station that was all plywood and fog machines?
How about a special call-out for Jeffrey Broadhurst''s bubble butt encased in those tight pants during his dance number. The three strippers in the Midler version were good, too. If only Barbara Harris hadn''t wigged out (again) and stayed to play Tessie Tura.
As befits a third-rate vaudeville act.
Anyone remember the G*Y*P*S*Y movie tie-in candy bar? From the fine folk that brought you Butterfinger and Baby Ruth.%0D\
This was available for a limited time and was manufactured at the time the movie was released during the Thanksgiving Christmas season. The candy bar had a purple wrapper printed with the G*Y*P*S*Y film logo. Colony Record Store in Times Square use to have one of the bars in their memorabilia display case. Don''t know if it is still there.
Interesting, R35. Mervyn LeRoy, the film''s director, denied there was a deliberate tie-in with the candy company. In his autobiography he claims he simply used known products to add a touch of realism. He says the grateful makers of Butterfinger and Baby Ruth sent him cases of them as a surprise thanks.\
Because Herbie makes an actual sales pitch in the movie and, as you say, you could buy specially labeled candy bars, I assume LeRoy was trying to hide the fact that he had sold out in one of the earliest examples of product placement in a Hollywood film.
But there was a GYPSY bar too. It was similar to that Hershey bar 1,000 Grand or whatever it is called.
bump for friday
"I just tried to watch RR doing 'Roses,' but I couldn't make it past 'Starting here, starting now.' Painful. To see someone struggling for notes that early in the song is just... weird, if nothing else."
Ummmm, that's not Rosalind Russell singing. Her real singing voice is heard in the movie only in "Mr. Goldstone" (the whole song) and "Rose's Turn" (the first half, more or less). All of the rest of the singing was dubbed by Lisa Kirk. Pay attention.
As for the Midler version, not only Jeffrey Broadhurst but every single one of the "newsboys" is gorgeous, with an amazing bubble butt. Watch the "Broadway, Broadway" number, if you don't believe me. Of course I don't know if there was any actual casting couch activity on that version, but the boys were obviously cast with an eye towards a certain kind of "talent."
I liked the Midler version. I just did.
Gypsy is about parents living vicariously through their children and how the children have to adapt. Not a cheery subject and that's the real reason it's not as beloved as the Rodgers and Hammerstein chestnuts.
Bette was Bette rather than Rose in the movie, and sometimes that was OK, sometimes it wasn't.
Roz was good. The biggest problems for me with the 62 version were the pointless rewrites and voiceovers.
[quote]Ummmm, that's not Rosalind Russell singing. Her real singing voice is heard in the movie only in "Mr. Goldstone" (the whole song) and "Rose's Turn" (the first half, more or less). All of the rest of the singing was dubbed by Lisa Kirk. Pay attention.
The poster was talking about a video which link is dead now of Russell singing in her real voice, which was reason she was dubbed. YOU pay attention
I liked both versions but then I love movies and musicals and have never confused them for Chemotherapy.
Considering how good the show is, it's surprising that both film versions have kinda sucked. I prefer the script of the '93 version, but it's a cheap, gaudy affair with a terrible performance from Midler.
As old as Streisand is, if she has the right director, she might end up doing ok in her remake IF they get the ball rolling right away. She's not getting any younger and CGI can only do so much.
It's brilliant show with some terrific songs and a great book (a rarity for a musical). I just wish someone could translate it to the screen. It hinges on who you cast for Rose. Someone who needs to have the dramatic/comedic chops and a good singing voice to boot. I actually think Catherine Zeta-Jones or Toni Collette could make it work.
Working link to Russell singing "Everything's Coming Up Roses" in her own voice.
She gives it a lot of passion, but she just can't sing very well.
[quote] Bette was Bette rather than Rose in the movie
This is the Midler MO.
Bette is Merman 2.0. She can never play anyone other than herself, and she has little range in terms of subtlety.
Kirstie Alley BEAT Bette Midler for the Emmy that year.
Bette would later say she was pissed.
What was up with Bette's sad clown hair in this? I couldn't take her and the movie seriously because I kept thinking she looked like Bozo.
I agree Gibb was the best filmed Louise.
But I do like Natalie Wood in the film version--she's not supersexy, but she's very sweet and appealing when she's supposed to be boyish.
And Ann Jillian is magnificent in the "Broadway" number--it's the only time I've ever seen the show where you can really understand why Mr. Grantziger would want to dismiss the whole act after hearing "The Cow Song" but would want to make June (and June alone) a star after hearing her sing "Broadway."
What's odd is that Bette and Barbra have become close friends over the past few years. Age has mellowed them and they've dropped the competitive edge. Bette has been all up Barbra's ass lately on Twitter. Same thing with Barbra and Jane Fonda.
The Bett Midler version was ridiculous. Does anybody believe that someone who looks like Bette Midler would have a daughters who looks slike Cynthia Gibb? It's laughably implausible.
Midler's performance was overdone. She was just trying too hard and it didn't work.
Wood's best moment:
"I'm a pretty girl, Mama!"
[quote]Does anybody believe that someone who looks like Bette Midler would have a daughters who looks slike Cynthia Gibb? It's laughably implausible.
Your right Sweetie, that just takes you out of the realism of all the characters breaking into song.
I've always had the fantasy that Judy would have done the '62 Gypsy. She was in great voice at that time and she had the vaudeville background and knew stage mothers. And Liza (although young) could've played Louise. Oh, and I kind of loved the Midler Gypsy.
Judy would have been THE Rose to end all Roses. In fact, I believe Warner Bros. told the creative team of the show that if they sold them the rights, they'd get Judy and Ann-Margret in the leads. Can you imagine that? What a missed opportunity.
Of course, at that time, Judy was uninsurable, but was still selling out sold out gigs everywhere. This could have won her an Oscar. Her history with her mother, who was very much a Rose herself, would have certainly helped her. That's why I feel Barbra might actually get it right this time since she apparently had a mother who was an awful lot like Rose, too. Laurents was always very protective over who played Rose, so I don't think he would have signed on unless her really believed she could do it. Then again, he did sign off on Midler. I believe he said she could have been wonderful if there had been a director to reel her in a bit. I will give Bette one thing - she's very good in the quieter scenes like "Small World" but her 2 big numbers are silly as can be.
Nice thought, r47, but Warner Brothers would never have let Garland near GYPSY after her erratic behavior with A STAR IS BORN.
But I agree - Garland would have been unsurpassed as Rose.
10, 15, 20 years ago Streisand would have been wonderful. But she waited too long. She should have done it right after CHICAGO won the Oscar when musicals seemed viable again.
Ashley Judd and Gwennie Paltrow both wanted to play Louise in the Bette version. I liked Cynthia Gibb and the actress who played Dainty June (sorry, can't remember her name) was outstanding. Riegert and Midler dated back in the day so someone probably thought that would mean CHEMISTRY. Sadly, there's none. (Maybe that's why they broke up?)
Shame Barbara Harris had a meltdown and quit. They elevated Christine Ebersole from Miss Cratchitt to Tessie and brought in Andrea Martin for Cratchitt.
I saw Bette at Radio City a few mos before Gypsy aired and she brought the house down with Rose's Turn.
But, whoever said it earlier was right, she's better on stage.
"Your right Sweetie, that just takes you out of the realism of all the characters breaking into song."
I'm aware it's a musical, honeybun. It's just that it seems far-fetched even for a musical that a homely little toad like Bette Midler could bring forth from her vagina a tall, slim, WASP-featured morsel like Gibb.
"Judy would have been THE Rose to end all Roses"
Uh, no. Judy Garland's film persona was winsome and vunerable. She would have totally wrong for the role of monstrous Mama Rose. And Mama Rose WAS a monster, much worse than she's portrayed in the play. The real life Rose Hovich was psychotic and probably a murderer. I'd like to see a movie or mini-series about the reality of Rose Hovich and her poor daughters Louise and June. The true story is much, much darker than the play.
While I'l admit that Judy's main gimmick was her vulnerability, I really think you can see glimpses of bitterness in some of her roles. It might have tested her, but I think she could have pulled it off.
There's certain moments in A Star is Born and I Could Go On Singing where you can see she'd have been a wonderful, ferocious Rose.
Also, let's not forget that, while Rose is pretty much a monster, she's still very funny. I'll never forget Betty Buckley's terrifying, humorless Rose at the Papermill Playhouse. It was an interesting take for act 2, but it made the first act feel like it went on forever. She just wasn't funny and the show suffered for it no matter how much pathos and ferocity she brought to her two big numbers (which, btw, are still the best sung versions of those songs I've ever heard).
You need a comedienne with a solid singing voice and a good dramatic range who isn't afraid to play someone despicable. Sadly, this is pretty hard to find.
"Riegert was obviously Jewish and Herbie wasn't. Herbie is supposed to be a midwestern guy."
I) It really doesn't matter if Herbie is Jewish or not Jewish.
2) There are many Jewish Midwestern guys.
3) The role was originated on Broadway by Jack Klugman, who is, ok, al together now..... Jewish!
But other than that, you're making an excellent and completely persuasive point.
If Cate Blanchett could sing (can she? do we know?) I'd love to see her try Rose.
She could put massive oomph behind Rose's more power hungry moments, but show the needy underbelly.
I should have got the movie!
I'd like to see Sara Ramirez tackle it.
Ooooo Cate would be wonderful. I wonder if she can sing? Y'never know.
I think Judy would have been great as Rose. She had a pretty terrible stage mother, and could have channelled of her own suffering through the role. She was no shrinking violet towards the end of her life, either. She could be pretty caustic and brittle when she dished it out. She lived Gypsy's life in many ways, although she was a far more tragic figure.
Cate Blanchett would be terrible. Far too delicate and elegant.
You need a loud and brassy woman.
What about Catherine Zeta-Jones?
Too many Rs for Zeta Jones.
[quote]You need a comedienne with a solid singing voice and a good dramatic range who isn't afraid to play someone despicable. Sadly, this is pretty hard to find.
Julie Walters, around 10-15 years ago, would have been a fantastic Rose.
I liked Natalie Wood in the first movie. I thought she made a lovely Gypsy.
Right now I'm perfect for Louise, and in a few years I'll be perfect for Rose.
Yeah right AnnE. The only role you're fit for is Mazeppa because with all that hot air you spew, the bugle playing scene in "Gimmick" might be quite easy for you.
I believe it was Lenny Wolpe, who played Herbie pretty sad sack, to Buckley's Rose. R62 is absolutely right--Betty Lynn was not funny at all as Rose and it really hurts the show.
Would Lainie Kazan have made a good Mama Rose on stage?
Yes, I'd bet she would, R81, and I wonder if she hadn't done it at some stock theater or another.
Once she get a few more miles on her, watch for our gal Sutton Foster to take her shot at Rose. Bunheads, which I kind of hate watched, suggested she might have it in her. She could certainly sing it.
Wasn't Lainie the one mentioned in a former Gypsy thread (or maybe it was that wonderful Billy Boy Summer Stock thread?) who forgot the lyrics and just kept repeating: "Get a feathered hat for the baby, get a feathered hat for the baby, get a feathered hat for the baby, etc."
Or was it Rita Moreno? Or Joanne Whorley?
R83 or Leslie Uggams?
I've seen a lot of Roses (although not Merman or Lansbury) and I thought Tyne Daily had the best Everything's Coming up Roses but I thought Midler had the best Rose's Turn. So sue me.
Ruta Lee was by far the best Rose that I ever saw.
You deserve to be sued, R85. Tyne Daly couldn't sing for shit.
Linda Lavin, who replaced Tyne Daly in her Broadway run, WAS Rose. The end.
I understood the PSYCHOLOGY!
Or was it Gisele MacKenzie?
[quote]Linda Lavin, who replaced Tyne Daly in her Broadway run, WAS Rose. The end.
Well ya got the end right, the show closed not long after.
Wasn't Lavin often out during her stint?
I thought Lavin was a good choice, but she didn't quite pull it off.
I love Linda Lavin. She was not very good in Gypsy. On top of which, for some unknown reason, she played Rose with a very strange Irish accent.
Frank Rich called Linda Lavin's GYPSY "smaller than life."
She should have come to me for lessons.
Has Florence Henderson ever played Mama Rose?
Lavin was a better singer than Daly for sure. Still, not terrific, but all we really have to go off of are a few audience recordings on YouTube, where she actually gets a laugh during the monologue before "Everything's Coming Up Roses" when she says "And I can make you now", which I don't think is a bad thing. It's such an uncomfortable moment for the audience.
There's a video of her doing "Some People" on a Jule Styne special around the time she was in the show and she's brilliant. In fact, it might be my favorite version of the song. She sounds great and she really sells the song without being overly angry and bitter.
I actually think Tyne, despite her vocal limitations, was my favorite Rose. She just hit every acting note for me. She was rough, tough, vulgar, touching, and even surprisingly sexy at times.
I once saw Linda Lavin as Nora Bayes on a TV special. Her voice was great. She was fabulous!!!!
I remember reading or hearing that Ann Sothern was a terrific Rose. God, maybe it was Ken Mandelbaum.
Lorna Luft played Rose a few years ago - didn't see it but heard good things about it.
A younger Liza - late 1980s/early 1990s - would have been an awesome Rose. She had the drive, edge and anger needed.
*L*I*Z*A* performs "Some People" so fast, she could have had the whole show come in at under an hour!
Seriously,R18?: Then why on earth was the original Herbie, on Bway, played by Jack Klugman? Fucking map of Israel on his face, nose, style, intonation - I just assumed Herbie was Jewish!
R103, she wouldn't have that option in the stage production. She sped it up in her own show for matters of pacing and hyping the audience.
Her Rose's Turn in concert was fantastic.
Why has no one mentioned Angela???????????
R106--wish I could have seen her. Michael Feinstein, whom I cannot usually abide, showed some in performance footage of her on one of the recent installments of that limited PBS series of his, and she was spectacular.
In a dream world, I'd like to see Merman first, and then Angela.
Bits of the Lansbury GYPSY at the link.
It's clear why she was a huge star in the theater.
I think Angela's "Rose's Turn" is definitive. It's so terrifying. What she does with her eyes towards the end of the song and as she takes her phantom bows at the end is just bone chilling.
I also kinda like Bernadette's version of that one number. I think she was an interesting choice for the role and some of her ideas were very effective, but as a whole, she really wasn't that great except on that number. She made Rose sexy, pathetic, funny, and heartbreaking all in a span of 4 minutes. Her concert version on YouTube is especially thrilling.
I think Liza's "Rose's Turn" is pretty damn solid, too. I think she could have played the role in the 80's/early 90's in her sleep. She'd have been terrific and sung the shit out of it. Her coked up "Some People" is still a guilty pleasure.
When will Lifetime do the all African-American "Gypsy?"
And who would be in THAT cast?
Hints at what a Judy Garland Mama Rose might have been -- TOGETHER WHEREVER WE GO with Liza
Queen Latifah would seem the obvious choice in that scenario.
It made no sense in the Tyne Daly production when Louise said to Rose at the end "You really would have been something." Meaning Rose could have been a star. Tyne Daly's Rose only seemed suited to be a frau.
Lanie played Rose in stock back in the '90's.
I believe either Sondheim or Laurents said Lavin was probably the closest to the real Rose.
I didn't care for Lavin but I thought her acting choices were original and chilling. The main problem was she replaced Daly and her performance was so drastically different that the other actors seemed confused and lost. She was probably the most unlikeable Rose I've ever seen. But, like I said, it was a brave choice. I don't think she was out all that much during her short run. Daly missed a lot of shows due to vocal fatigue.
My friend worked with Betty Hutton in a stock production. Never went into detail because the experience was so painful but I always assumed Betty was drinking heavily and made the show hell for everyone.
Bernadette played Dainty June in that production.
To complement R112's post, a recording of Garland singing "Some People." She really would have nailed the part.
Thank you, r118. Interesting rehearsal take. She sounds great, but the arrangement makes her really rush through it.
I saw Lansbury, Daly, Buckley, and LuPone in the role (sorry, Miss Peters--just wasn't up for another production of it then). Each was marvelous in her own way. Lansbury probably best all-round, Daly acted the hell out of it, Buckley sang it the best, and LuPone brought the most ferocious energy. Would loved to have seen Merman, Worley (whom some critic said was the best Rose he'd ever seen), Karen Morrow (whether she did it or not, in my fantasy life, she did)--and now either Harvey Fierstein or Charles Busch needs to take it on.
If Garland was in good fighting shape she would easily have been the best Rose of all time.
Yes, I think Garland represents a missed opportunity.
If we're going to have guys in drag doing it, how about Rufus Wainwright in Judy drag?
Karen Morrow did it at least once in the early 1990s
The best and only film remake should have been done with Minnelli as others have said. She had the right voice and was once a very good actress.
Midler seemed like a good idea, Jewish or not. Streisand is not exactly patrician, ya know. Streisand's ego and control freak nature will ruin this work as much if not more than Midlers'. The costumes would be better, but she is too fucking old and doesn't have the voice or the audience for it. I am not much of a Streisand fan, but I think it would be a terrible way for her to end her film career. The knives would be out.
Liza had the right look, the 1930's look good on her, she was close to homely, until she sings, and then all the lights go on. I am talking back in the day. Even well into the nineties Liza could have slayed it. No Louise would have had to be ironic in telling Mama Rose that she really was something.
I don't spend much time thinking about Gypsy, but it is the best score and book combo ever. I did see Buckley and Peter's do it. I called in sick for Patti Lupone. Her voice is suited for it, if Merman is who you want to hear in your head. I don't. I am too young to appreciate the voice of Ethel Merman. Can't stand it. That Lansbury footage was fantastic. What an amazing performer, then and still. Thanks r109.
I don't think anyone but CZJ should star in a film remake now. Catherine is not a vocal powerhouse but neither is Streisand. Catherine is at the right age to play Rose, and I don't mean 29. She also has the hard edge, personal charm and right vocal timbre. I think she would be very good.
Here is Liza's infamously sped up version of "Some People." She always sang if fast, but this is crazy. She was a great actress/singer on her best days. Exciting. Some time ago.
I'd love to hear more about Lavin's performance. All I've really heard is that spoke with a strange Irish accent, which, strangely, can't be heard in the clip posted before or the two audio clips I found of her performance.
She seems the most like the real life Rose and I believe she once said the real Baby/Dainty June came to see her and said she was the closest one to her mother.
Laurents must have liked her and he's notoriously picky.
Any more memories of her performance?
I found Lavin to be too contained, pinched, not as boisterous, or as "on" to really put over Rose's laughs. I really thought she would have made a great Rose. But for a brassy big musical like this one, her performance was really "smaller than life."
I honestly can't see tiny, doe-eyed Judy Garland as a monstrous character like Mama Rose. Oh, if she was in top form she probably could have sung the numbers well enough. But Judy Garland as a child abuser, as a monster of selfishness and deceit, a control freak to end all control freaks? I don't think filmgoers would have bought her as Mama Rose.
Lavin did use a brogue which was distracting. She stomped her feet a lot and, yes, got unintentional laughs. Vocally, she wasn't very strong (at least not the night I saw it). Pinched is the perfect word to describe her.
There's a full audio bootleg of Gray from either Papermill or a stock production. She sounds better on that benefit audio from London.
The full audio is from when Gray went on despite being sick. She had the misfortune of the same thing happening on opening night in London, which may have sealed the closure of the first London production.
The musical was written specifically for Merman. And the original cast recording is the gold standard for "Gypsy." Fine if people do not like her voice, but that was the sound Sondheim and Styne were going for when they wrote the lyrics and music.
Sondheim hated Merman.
Wow! Such interesting accounts of Lavin. Sounds like she and Midler should have switched places. Midler could have replaced Daly on stage and Lavin could have done the TV movie. Seems like she was playing for a camera instead I guess.
I'm also curious about Gray's performance in the role. The clip of her doing the monologue right before "Rose's Turn" is chilling. She also had a stage mother who's been compared to Rose many times.
I don't think he hated her. He recently said that, before she took on the role, he made sure to write the score to be fool proof/bad actor proof, because he knew Merman wasn't that great of an actress, but he found out that was actually surprisingly good.
I still wouldn't say she was a great actress, but she could do a few things extremely well and she was smart enough to never stray from that. Gypsy tested her just enough.
I've researched Gray's reception in the role and it seems she got mixed reviews for her portrayal (she did at least three productions over about a decadee). A couple of reviews suggest that she held back from the darker aspects of the character. However, the London Palladium Rose's Turn goes against that impression.
[quote] that was the sound Sondheim and Styne were going for when they wrote the lyrics and music.
The sound of her voice?
Please! Sondheim thought Merman was dumber than a sack of hammers. He hated her broad acting style and lack of subtlety. She never met a lyric she didn't bulldoze her way through.
[quote]Catherine is not a vocal powerhouse but neither is Streisand.
Streisand isn't a powerhouse? What the fuck are you talking about? I'm not even a die hard fan and I know she hasn't lost her voice like Minnelli, who should never sing in public again. She still sings better than anyone here mentioned and she won't be doing eight shows a week. She only has to sing it great once in the recording studio.
Her voice is in better condition than Sara Ramirez'? No way!
Joan Crawford would have made an interesting Mama Rose. More interesting than Roz.
[quote]Her voice is in better condition than Sara Ramirez'? No way!
We're talking about past Roses and Ramirez' voice could hold out for eight shows a week so knock her off your pedestal.
Hard to believe Laurents would have allowed Lavin a brogue unless the real Rose was born in Ireland, which I certainly don't think was the case.
I saw Lansbury in the role twice and she was amazing. Her take on the role, which was to be somewhat charming and flirty, was obviously a big departure from Merman's portrayal. And in the mid-1970s, there weren't many other Roses to compare her with.
The real Rose might have been of Irish descent, but she was from Seattle, so she probably didn't even have an accent of any kind. It does seem like a strange choice for Lavin to pick.
From the clips I've seen and heard of her, there's not even the slightest detection of an accent, so maybe she got rid of it later in the run and that's when these clips were made.
Lansbury, from what I've seen/heard, might just be the best Rose of all time. Sexy, charming, conniving, scary, heartbreaking, funny...what more could you want? I wish her whole performance was filmed.
I saw Merman in Gypsy. On television and film she came across badly, so I understand why people think she was only brash and loud in Gypsy. Actually, all of the words R148 uses to describe Lansbury would also fit Merman's performance, except sexy. Unfortunately, Merman was the kind of performer you had to see in person to understand why she was so good on Broadway.
make that... Ramirez' voice COULDN'T hold out for eight shows a week so knock her off your pedestal.
I remember there was a rumor that Merman would follow Lansbury in the revival. Allegedly, Merman said 'the only way I would follow Angela is with a shovel.' Then Angie, graciously, thanked Merman in her Tony acceptance speech.
Class always trumps Crass.
R147 Trust me.. it was a brogue. I'm Irish and I know a brogue when I hear one - even if it's a bad one.
There's an audio out there and the brogue is quite prominent in the beginning but disappears by the end.
Some people just shouldn't attempt accents.
[quote]I saw Lansbury in the role twice and she was amazing. Her take on the role, which was to be somewhat charming and flirty, was obviously a big departure from Merman's portrayal. And in the mid-1970s, there weren't many other Roses to compare her with
Me too. Lansbury was marvelous. I've seen Daly, Peters, LuPone and Angela was the best.
R152- There is also a pretty decent video bootleg of Lavin's performance. You are correct. She's as Irish as Sharon in Finian's.
Wow, I'd never heard about that.
I'd love to see that bootleg. Any idea on where one might obtain it?
The bootleg is excellent. Interesting that mine is labeled 'highlights' yet it's the entire show.
it sounds great. any way of sticking it on YouTube or something?