Gypsy features a score by Jule Styne with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Arthur Laurents. The musical is often referred to as one of the greatest musicals of the classic Broadway period, and its phenomenal Overture is recognisable to all theatre fans. The show is loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, in which Rose is the show business mother who pushes her children into the limelight. The character of Rose is one of the most sought after roles in musical theatre, and numerous productions have highlighted the best Broadway stars including Ethel Merman, Patti luPone, Bernadette Peters and Tyne Daley.

Gypsy

Jule Styne

Stephen Sondheim

Arthur Laurents

the Memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee

David Merrick & Leland Hayward

Jerome Robbins

Jerome Robbins

Productions
Gypsy Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Broadway Theatre, The Imperial Theatre - Opened 21 May 1959, closed 25 Mar 1961

Cast: Ethel Merman (Rose), Sandra Church (Louise), Lane Bradbury (June), Jack Klugman (Herbie).

Gypsy Original London

Original London Production

Piccadilly Theatre - Opened 29 May 1973, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Angela Lansbury,  Zan Charisse, Barry Ingham, Debbie Bowen and Bonnie Langford

Gypsy 1st Broadway Revival

1974 Broadway Revival

Winter Garden Theatre - Opened 1 Sep 1974, closed 1 Jan 1975

Cast:  Angela Lansbury, Rex Robbins, Maureen Moore, Mary Louise Wilson

Gypsy 2nd Broadway Revival

1989 Broadway Revival

Marquis Theatre - Opened 1 Nov 1979, closed 28 Jul 1991

Cast: Tyne Daley (Rose), (Crista Moore) Louise, Jonathan Hadary (Herbie)

Gypsy 2003 Revival

2003 Broadway Revival

Schubert Theatre - Opened 1 May 2003, closed 30 May 2004

Cast: Bernadette Peters,  John Dossett, Tammy Blanchard, Kate Reinders, David Burtka

Gypsy 2008 Revival

2008 Broadway Revival

St James Theatre - Opened 27 Mar 2008, closed 11 Feb 2009

Cast: Patti LuPone (Rose), Laura Benanti (Louise), Leigh Ann Larking (June), Boyd Gaines (Herbie)

Gypsy  100x150

Gypsy 2015 London Revival

Savoy Theatre - Opened 28 Mar 2015, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Imelda Staunton as Rose, Peter Davison as Herbie, Lara Pulver as Louise and Gemma Sutton as June.



What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box

Synopsis

Twitter Synopsis:

Formidable stage mother pushes her daughters to succeed as one accidentally becomes a stripper making her Mama question her motives and life.

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In the early 1920’s Rose and her two daughters Baby June and Louise play the vaudeville circuit, pushed by Rose’s ambitions and aspirations for her daughter. Rose is a fierce stage mother who pushes her children, in particular June who acts as the centrepiece for each act. Every act features the same song under a different disguise. Rose wants the girls to travel to Broadway and dreams that the act can really take off, but her father refuses to help her out financially. She meets an old theatre agent Herbie and uses her charm to win him as their manager. As the girls get older, their act rarely changes and they become a travelling troupe. They eventually get to perform to Mr Goldstone, a huge vaudeville manager of the Orpheum circuit. Rose rejects Herbie’s proposal of marriage, putting all of her energies into the act, that continues to stay the same despite the growing ages of the girls. Louise and June are unhappy with their lives and often fantasize about what it would be like if ‘Momma Was Married’ and they led a normal life. Tulsa, a chorus boy from the act shows Louise his own dancing skills and persuades her to run away with him. She leaves a note for her mother that the two have eloped. Rose is furious, but turns her fortunes around as she promises to make Louise a star instead.

As the vaudeville industry continues to fade away, Louise is now a lot older and still forced to perform in an act similar to Baby June’s. Rose and Herbie continue to try and sell the act, but with few venues left they are reduced to a burlesque house in Kansas. Whilst Rose is offended, Louise looks on the positive side that they will get paid for two weeks. Louise shares a dressing room with three strippers who teach her how to get a gimmick in order to succeed. Herbie proposes to Rose again and she accepts, and she promises to close the act and lead a normal life. As a stripper drops out, Rose seizes her opportunity, forcing Louise back into the spotlight. Herbie is disgusted at Rose’s behaviour and walks out on her forever. Louise reluctantly agrees and tries not to strip, but her teasing drives the audience wild and she becomes highly successful. She continues to get more successful, and becomes a burlesque star, rejecting help from her mother. Rose realises that June, Herbie and now Louise have left her and her life is now meaningless. She asks what it was all for, delivering the biggest number in the show ‘Rose’s Turn’. She fantasizes about her own success and realises that she did it all for herself. She tries to reconcile with Louise, but to no avail.

Songs

Act I

  • Overture
  • Let Me Entertain You
  • Some People
  • Small World
  • Baby June And Her Newsboys
  • Mr. Goldstone, I Love You
  • Farm Sequence
  • Little Lamb
  • You’ll Never Get Away From Me
  • Dainty June And Her Farmboys
  • If Mama Was Married
  • Broadway
  • All I Need Is The Girl
  • Seattle To LA
  • Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Act II

  • Madame Rose’s Toreadorables
  • Together Wherever We Go
  • You Gotta Have A Gimmick
  • Let Me Entertain You (reprise)
  • Rose’s Turn

Cut Songs

  • Mama’s Talkin’ Soft
  • Smile, Girls
  • Three Wishes for Christmas
  • Who Needs Him?
Awards

1960

  • 1960 Tony Award® Best Musical Book by Arthur Laurents; Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Music by Jule Styne; Produced by Leland Hayward [nominee]
  • 1960 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Musical Ethel Merman [nominee]
  • 1960 Tony Award® Best Featured Actor in a Musical Jack Klugman [nominee]
  • 1960 Tony Award® Best Featured Actress in a Musical Sandra Church [nominee]
  • 1960 Tony Award® Best Scenic Design (Musical) Scenic Design by Jo Mielziner [nominee]
  • 1960 Tony Award® Best Costume Design Costume Design by Raoul Pène Du Bois [nominee]
  • 1960 Tony Award® Best Direction of a Musical Jerome Robbins [nominee]
  • 1960 Tony Award® Best Conductor and Musical Director Milton Rosenstock [nominee]

1975

  • 1975 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Musical Angela Lansbury [winner]
  • 1975 Tony Award® Best Featured Actress in a Musical Zan Charisse [nominee]
  • 1975 Tony Award® Best Direction of a Musical Arthur Laurents [nominee]
  • 1975 Theatre World Award Zan Charisse [winner] John Sheridan [winner]
  • 1975 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Angela Lansbury [winner]
  • 1975 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Bonnie Langford [nominee]
  • 1975 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Musical Arthur Laurents [winner]

1990

  • 1990 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Musical Tyne Daly [winner]
  • 1990 Tony Award® Best Featured Actor in a Musical Jonathan Hadary [nominee]
  • 1990 Tony Award® Best Featured Actress in a Musical Crista Moore [nominee]
  • 1990 Tony Award® Best Costume Design Costume Design by Theoni V. Aldredge [nominee]
  • 1990 Tony Award® Best Revival Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler, Kathy Levin, Barry Brown [winner]
  • 1990 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Tyne Daly [winner]
  • 1990 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Jonathan Hadary [nominee]
  • 1990 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Crista Moore [nominee]
  • 1990 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler, Kathy Levin, Barry Brown; Produced in association with Tokyo Broadcasting System Intl., Inc., PACE Theatrical Group, Inc. [winner]
  • 1990 Theatre World Award Robert Lambert [winner] Crista Moore [winner]

2003

  • 2003 Tony Award® Best Revival of a Musical Produced by Robert Fox, Ron Kastner, Roger Marino, Michael Watt, Harvey Weinstein, WWLC [nominee]
  • 2003 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Musical Bernadette Peters [nominee]
  • 2003 Tony Award® Best Featured Actor in a Musical John Dossett [nominee]
  • 2003 Tony Award® Best Featured Actress in a Musical Tammy Blanchard [nominee]
  • 2003 Theatre World Award Tammy Blanchard [winner]
  • 2003 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Musical Produced by Robert Fox, Ron Kastner, Roger Marino, Michael Watt, Harvey Weinstein, WWLC [nominee]
  • 2003 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Bernadette Peters [nominee]
  • 2003 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical John Dossett [nominee]
Licensing

UK: Music Scope UK

USA: Tams-Witmark