Tyne Daly takes her star turn at Mama Rose
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 02/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am surprised that his third "original cast recording" of "Gypsy" featuring Tyne Daly as Mama Rose is my favorite. I love Bette Midler singing these songs, but for me Tyne Daly's characterization is right on the mark, probably because as great as Angela Landsbury, Rosalind Russell and Bette might be, Daly is the best dramatic actress in the bunch even if her voice is not the strongest in the group. I guess I am not surprised because Daly's Mary Beth Lacy is one of the finest characterizations in the history of television. Besides, the part Mama Rose, originally written for Ethel Merman, is to Broadway musicals what Hamlet is to Shakespeare. This is only a slight exaggeration when you consider how often this musical is revived and/or filmed, but what mature actress would not want to get a chance 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, who directed this particular revival (Jerome Robbins did the direction and choreography the first time around). This production features Jonathan Hadary as Herbie and Christa Moore as Louise/Gypsy. 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 palatible 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 planative "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 erruption 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 lovely recording
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 05/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"GYPSY has been revived on Broadway several times over the years (not to mention the current Bernadette Peters revival that is going gangbusters), so its quite timely to be looking back on the 1989 revival starring Tyne Daly as the fearsome Mama Rose.Tyne Daly may not be the best singer to grace the Broadway stage, but by heck she can really ACT these songs. Her Rose is a perfectly-realised creature that is totally believable. Her replacement in the show, Linda Lavin, had the vocal finesse but kept a certain restraint as to the dramatics of the part, so they both had certain strong points and weak points. Needless to say, Tyne Daly's Tony win was well-deserved.The rest of the cast is sensational; Crista Moore (one of Broadway's most under-rated talents) is a knockout as Louise/Gypsy, while Jonathan Hadary's performance as Herbie is very impressive. The character of Herbie can get quite passive and requires a strong actor to lift it up. Hadary does quite well at this.The three strippers; Electra, Tessie Tura and Mazeppa; are played by Anna McNeely, Barbara Erwin and Jana Robbins, are they are indeed fantastic. "You Gotta Get a Gimmick" is the comic highlight of the show, and a great number to boot. Sensational performances.All-in-all, this recording of GYPSY is a must-own for fans as well as anyone who really cares about musical theater."
It's a great show
Robert P. Chapski | Phoenix, AZ USA | 06/23/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Tyne Daly is not the best singer to ever play Mama Rose, but she is a wonderful actress, although that sadly doesn't come out on the album. The production values are very high though so all of the songs are very enjoyable and the supporting cast is outstanding,"