Friday, May 21, 2010


Gypsy, a musical based on the life of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, opened on Broadway on this date in 1959. Ethel Merman played Gypsy’s mother, Rose, who pushed her two daughters into burlesque. With music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

It has been revived, probably, more than any other musical. Notable revivals include Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Tyne Daly and Patti LuPone. All wonderful in their own way. For my money, Ethel Merman was and always will be, the best Mama Rose.

And don't forget Gypsy's famous overture: probably the greatest one ever written. Here's Miss Ethel, my favorite.

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