Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jule Styne, Marvin Laird, Gypsy Pit Orchestra|
Gypsy (2003 Broadway Revival Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
The casting of cute, petite Bernadette Peters as the formidable Mama Rose in the 2003 revival of Gypsy led to a few raised eyebrows: Was this egregious miscasting? After all, previous Roses have included Ethel Merman, Ange... more »
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The casting of cute, petite Bernadette Peters as the formidable Mama Rose in the 2003 revival of Gypsy led to a few raised eyebrows: Was this egregious miscasting? After all, previous Roses have included Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, and (on TV) Bette Midler, all of them strong women who can belt with the best of them. Peters took a slightly different approach to the role, emphasizing the dramatic reading of her songs instead of blasting her way through sheer power--she acts the material as much as she sings it. Nowhere is this as convincing as on "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and especially "Rose's Turn," the latter as good a rendering of showbiz madness as you're ever likely to hear. Peters's acting skills are further emphasized by the generous helpings of dialogue that frame the musical numbers. The rest of the cast is superlative, and Marvin Laird conducts a spirited orchestra. Discussions as to which recording of Gypsy is the definitive one will never end, but this album certainly deserves to be included among the finalists. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Bernadette Peters takes her star turn as Mama Rose
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 08/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Gypsy" may well be one of the most indestructible works in American musical history. I have heard Ethel Merman, Angela Landsbury, Rosalind Russell, Bette Midler, and Tyne Daly sing the part of Mama Rose and surprising to date my favorite has been Daly on the strength not of her singing voice but rather her acting ability which infused her songs with a characterization that I thought was right on the mark. While Bernadette Peters falls short of that standard, in my mind at any rate, she is certainly proves she is in that tradition on this 2003 Broadway Revival Cast album. The fact that many of the tracks include some of the framing dialogue helps underscore that point."Gypsy" is also proving itself to be the "Hamlet" of musicals, given how many times it has been revived with a very different group of actresses playing the part of Mama Rose. But then what mature actress would not want a change to do "Rose's Turn" on stage for a live audience? "Suggested" by the memoirs of legendary stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, "Gypsy" has Music by Jule Styne and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, with a book by Arthur Laurents, this production features a relative unknown but superb cast with John Dossett as Herbie, Tammy Blanchrad as Louise/Gypsy, and Kate Reinders at June. Am I surprised by the quality of Peters' performance? Not really. I learned not to underestimate her abilities as a Broadway song and dance performer a long time ago. The legendary story of the ultimate Stage Mother who pushed her daughters to be vaudeville stars is well known by now. There might not be a more powerful ending to Act I in musical theater than Rose doing "Everything's Coming Up Roses" while her lover and her daughter watch on in absolute horror. Abandoned by her first born daughter June, at the moment when she should finally pack up and go home, Rose turns to the daughter she has ignored and predicts imminent stardom. The irony is palatable and there is nothing Louise can do to get away from her mom. Throughout the show irony invests every song with added depth of meaning from the opening "Let Me Entrain You" (which takes on a whole new meaning in "The Strip") to the plaintive "Little Lamb" sung by an abandoned Louise on her birthday to the false communion of "Together." The ultimate irony, of course, is the transformation of Louise into the legendary performer Gypsy Rose Lee since it is due to happenstance rather than the determined effort of Mama Rose. Her mother might force her out on stage, but the magic belongs to Louise and Rose will never forgive her for that betrayal. This is really a painful story of people caught by love in destructive relationships and it is absolutely impossible to turn away from what is happening. The reconciliation between mother and daughter at the end always seems somewhat forced to me, but then it is clear from the beginning that Rose only accepts love and life on her terms and there is nothing that Louise or anybody else can do about it, all of which comes out in the glorious final eruption of "Rose's Turn." "Gypsy" is truly one of the greatest of Broadway musicals. Final note on Irony: 20 years ago I saw June Havok--yes, the original Baby June--as Mrs. Lovett in a touring company of "Sweeney Todd." Apparently you can run from Mama Rose, but you can never get completely away."
A Pleasant Surprise!
Boz | 10/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wasn't sure that I would like Bernadette Peters as Mama Rose, as I believe that Merman is unsurpassed in this role. But I was pleasantly surprised by Bernadette's performance. Some previous reviewers have criticised her voice as not being "operatic" enough. First,operatic voices are not suited to Broadway music. They are TOO large. The best voice for Broadway is what I like to call a "musical theater voice". This is a large,powerful, resonant voice, but not overpowering, as is usually the case with an opera singer. This is the voice of a Merman,a Drake,a Streisand, a Goulet. Bernadette Peters does not have this type of voice, but she does have a beautiful and distinctive voice which she can project out over the footlights to great advantage. She is also a gifted actress who acts best with her song performances. After listening to her Mama Rose, I can say that her characterization is unique and superb. What Merman achieved with vocal power, Peters achieves with depth and nuance.
So, get two recordings of GYPSY, Merman's for the sheer majesty and power of her performance, and Peters' for her insight and unique interpretation."