Gypsy: A Musical Fable


I've listened to this recording several times since it came out in 2003 and I still haven't resigned myself to the fact that Bernadette Peters is old enough to play Mama Rose. (It's like when I recently heard Mia Farrow was cast as the granny in Arthur...) OK, I've just looked it up — Peters is now nearing 50 and Mia Farrow is 52.

BP's rendition of the ultimate showbiz mother is good actually. Less jarring than Ethel Merman's in 1957, Angela Lansbury in 1973 and Tyne Daly in 1989. (Like I would know.)

The ecdysiasts :
You can ——!, you can ——!, you can ——!!!
That's how burlesque was born.
So I ——!, and I ——!, and I ——!!!
But I do it with a horn!


Electra
If you wanna make it
Twinkle while you shake it.

Tessie
If you wanna grind it,
Wait till you've refined it.


Mazeppa
If you wanna bump it,
Bump it with a trumpet!



music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Arthur Laurents

"Small World," "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "You'll Never Get Away from Me," "Let Me Entertain You"

1962 film version w/ Rosalind Russell, Karl Malden, Natalie Wood

And don't forget the reference to Harris Tweed (genuinely handwoven in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland).