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Gypsy-50th Anniversary Edition
Original 1959 Broadway Recording
Gypsy-50th Anniversary Edition
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
 
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #1


      
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CD Details

All Artists: Original 1959 Broadway Recording
Title: Gypsy-50th Anniversary Edition
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony Classics
Original Release Date: 1/1/1959
Re-Release Date: 5/5/2009
Album Type: Cast Recording, Extra tracks
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Vocal Pop, Musicals
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 886974940623

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CD Reviews

50 years later, this is still one of the best cast albums ev
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 05/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"May 21, 1959 (exactly 50 years ago as I write this) Ethel Merman came charging down the aisle of the Broadway theater hollering "Sing Out Louise!" The opening night audience members were jolted out of their seats.

GYPSY had arrived.

How I wish I had been there that night, but I wasn't born yet. But I grew up with the cast album and it's still an essential disc for any musical theatre fan. While others have played the role to great acclaim there is something electrifying in Merman's no-holds-barred performance. Sony has just re-released the cast album, but in truth it has never been out of the catalog since it was released in the summer of 1959.

Despite the solid reviews, and the Merman name on the marquee, GYPSY was not a box office blockbuster. It was a hit, it ran 702 performances and enjoyed a successful tour, but it did not perform as well other shows with similar star power and critical endorsements. The Tony voters preferred the family friendly THE SOUND OF MUSIC over the steamrollering Madame Rose of Ethel Merman in GYPSY.

But the show keeps coming back. Rose is the King Lear of musical theatre and many celebrated actresses covet the role. Still, GYPSY marked the end of an era. When Rose pauses to take one forlorn look over the stage before her final exit, it might as well have been Merman giving a silent goodbye to Broadway. Not completely as she came back for the revival of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN and to take over the lead in HELLO DOLLY for the final months of its run, but GYPSY was her last original role and her best. It was also Jule Styne's best score, and Arthur Laurents' best book for a musical.

So play the cast album today and return to time when Broadway was at the crossroads.

This reissue is essentially the 1999 re-release with a few extra bonus tracks. For that edition, Thomas Sheppard examined the master tapes and restored some material that had been edited out for the original Lp release. The most interesting addition is the restoration of the "Dressy Tessie Tura/Do Something Special" verse in "You Gotta Get a Gimmick." There is also a few extra bars of strip music in "Let Me entertain You" and an alternate take is used for "All I Need is the Girl" so we can hear Louise's giggling response to Tulsa's routine. Otherwise it is essentially the historic cast album we all know and love."
Here she is, boys! Here she is, world! Here's Gypsy!
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 03/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Sing out, Louise! Sing out!" As Ethel Merman thundered down the aisle, making her first entrance in GYPSY, little did audiences know that they were indeed witnessing Broadway history unfold before their very eyes. For while Merman was widely considered the First Lady of Broadway, her turn in GYPSY transformed her, quite simply, into a Broadway Legend.

The magic is still palpable on the original 1959 cast album, which has now been reissued again on the Sony Broadway Masterworks label, this time with additional bonus materials. Based on the memoirs of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee, the story follows Louise (Sandra Church), her younger sister June (Lane Bradbury) and their mother, Mama Rose (Ethel Merman), as Rose fights for the vaudeville fame that will put June on the showbiz map. "Talentless" Louise drifts along in the background, playing the front end of the cow in an act that almost sees June get signed with a top theatre producer--that is, until Mama decides to make some extra contractual points. When June, stifled by Mama's grip, finally walks away, Mama focuses her maniacal energies on Louise. A combination of the downfall of vaudeville, and an accidental booking at a Witchita burlesque theater, finally reveals Louise's true calling...

The ultimate backstage showbiz tale, GYPSY is now widely considered the pinnacle of the Broadway musical; but, incredible as it may seem, wasn't exactly a smash hit when it originally premiered! Running a polite 702 performances, GYPSY was overshadowed in the Tony Awards race by fellow 1959 season openers Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Sound of Music" and Bock and Harnick's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Fiorello!". Somehow, Merman lost out on the Tony for what many consider her crowning performance; and the subsequent touring company--also headed by Merman--only lasted eight months. Four Broadway revivals later, the show is now treated as the hallowed masterpiece that it deserves to be.

The original 1959 cast album has always been a steady seller and never really been out of the catalogue. The previous Broadway Masterworks edition released in 1999 (which restored some incidental music to the "Let Me Entertain You" strip, a missing verse from "You Gotta Get a Gimmick"; and replaced Ethel Merman's "Rose's Turn" with a superior alternate take) had beautiful stereo placement and a crisp sound quality that belied it's 1959 vintage. That same content is all here on the 50th Anniversary Edition, along with some fascinating new bonus material, chiefly an interview with composer Jule Styne, and a vintage audio clip of Gypsy Rose Lee talking about her vaudeville and burlesque days.

A required disc in any Broadway fan's collection. [Masterworks Broadway 88697-49406-2]"
Ethel Merman will always rule as everybody's favorite stage
Sylviastel | 09/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I wasn't alive when Ethel Merman played Mother Rose to Gypsy and her sister Baby June but I imagine that she probably gave the definitive performance. This musical is quite sad about the definitive stage mother who pushes her daughter into the striptease world as Gypsy Rose Lee. It's based on a true story and truth is always stranger than fiction. Really, it's Mama Rose that wants stardom. Her daughters don't seem content but they do it to please her. I have to say that I only saw Gypsy with Tyne Daly in 1991 and she did a decent job. I would have liked to have seen Bernadette Peters but I wasn't too crazy about the latest Mama Rose played by Patti LuPone from what I saw on stage at the Tony Awards. Everybody who plays Mama Rose will be compared to the original Ethel Merman. She had the voice and presence onstage. The supporting cast is equally brilliant but Gypsy is not one of my favorite musicals but Ethel Merman delivers and her voice just booms from this compact disc."