Thursday, May 21, 2020

Sixty-One Years Ago Today On The Great White Way

Let me just start off by saying, that I was not alive when Gypsy first premiered on Broadway. Although I did see the last revival starring two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone. To most, Gypsy not only has the greatest book of any Broadway show in history, but is also one of the greatest show business musicals of all time. And you know what? I would happen to agree. Nominated for eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical of the Year, Gypsy features music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents.

Interesting enough, none of these three legendary men were nominated for their work on the show. Another interesting note, is that while original leading lady Ethel Merman did not win for her performance as "The Stage Mother From Hell" Mama Rose, three out of the four next actresses who played the part, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, and Patti LuPone, did win in subsequent revivals. Now while it's only been twelve years since the last revival, every few years rumors start about a new production starring leading ladies like Sutton Foster or Audra McDonald.

Now I know what your're thinking. "Oh sure they would be amazing, but aren't they both a little young?" Well look at the facts. Ethel Merman was fifty-one when she played the part. Angela Lansbury was forty-nine. Tyne Daly was forty-three. Only Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone were fifty-five and older when they performed it. Oh and Sutton Foster and Audra McDonald? Forty-five and forty-nine respectively. I rest my case. Stay safe everyone and keep looking out for each other.

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