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Subject: Re: Imelda Staunton in "Gypsy"
From: Dennis Ryan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 14 Nov 2016 18:31:16 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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Hi, Y'all!  
    Everyone seems to view Rose as a "strong"  character.  I respectfully 
disagree.  She is a weak, DESPERATE  character.  This woman has no life.  
NONE.  She does  not have the strength of character to make a life for herself, 
 and knows it.  So she is attempting to find one vicariously through the  
success of her daughter.  She is absolutely blind to all other  objectives.  
She is in total denial of the fact that this intensity of  focus can only 
bring her unhappiness.  Don't bother her with facts,  please.  She is driven, 
not by strength, but by her desperate refusal to  admit to herself or any 
one else that she is weak.  In many ways, she  reminds me of Donald Trump.  
    Best, 
    Dennis Ryan 
 
 
    
 
 
In a message dated 11/14/2016 2:46:34 P.M. Central Standard Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

"Gypsy"  is The Musical's equivalent of "Norma."  The  interpretative
possibilities are endless and the rewards great, but only  the qualified
should apply.

Max I'm in your camp about  Staunton.  I've seen all the post Merman Rose's
from Lansbury, thru  Daley, Peters, and LuPone including Roz Russell and
Bette Middler on  film.  Each brought something unique including Peters who
was somewhat  against type.  I saw her late in the run and by then she had
honed her  interpretation and made the character her own. Another powerhouse
was Nora  McLellan at the Shaw Festival a few years ago.

Of all of the Rose's  Staunton best caught the arc of the character from
aggressively charming to  ferociously lethal - she's even on a high boil
right through the final  reconciliation.

No question Merman's got the voice - and the "push" as  well as the brass in
that voice goes a long way to defining character  without the need for much
interpretation.  I think I've got just about  every recording of this show
that's been put out and the best balance  between vocal distinction and
bravura characterization would have to be  LuPone.  Her supporting cast is
also top notch.  I also have a  fondness for Lansbury - she's vocally
smoother and more ladylike  than  the average Rose, but she knows how to
build to a deadly sting.  The  problem here is the drip, drip of British
enunciation in the choral work -  something that was cleaned up in the
British made Staunton version.   Staunton may lack LuPone's or Merman's
unique, unmistakable timbre, but she  can vocally fill out the role without
compromise (possibly the most  frightening version of "Everything's coming
up Roses...) and that combined  with her acting chops makes her Rose one of
the best.

On Sun, Nov  13, 2016 at 11:03 PM, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]>  
wrote:

> Ed Rosen wrote:
>
> "I watched Gypsy on PBS and  agree with Donald. Of course I was blessed in
> having seen the original  with Merman 3 times in 1959-60. It was like 
night
> and  day."
>
> Well, I guess I will just be the minority opinion on  this List re
> Staunton's Mama Rose.
>
> And no, I didn't  see Ethel Merman in "Gypsy."  On the other hand, YOU
> never saw  Jeritza
> and Lauri-Volpi, or Turner and Martinelli, in "Turandot," like  I did.  If
> you had, you would
> have realized that Nilsson  and Corelli were very small beer indeed.  (And
> if you doubt that  I
> saw them, you should know that I have Elina Makropoulos'  formula.  I also
> heard Caruso's
> Canio, Fremstad's Isolde,  Tamagno's Otello, and Welitsch's Salome, in
> comparison to whom
>  all others in those roles are a joke.)
>
> For the record (and for  Donald Kane), I DID see Bette Middler (on TV 
1993)
> as Rose, as  well
> as (live) Tyne Daley (1989) and Bernadette Peters (2003).   (I did not see
> Patti Lupone,
> unfortunately.)  They were  all great.  Staunton was, too. She is not as
> great a singer  as
> those other ladies were/are, but she is a great actress, a  riveting
> performer, and her singing
> was just fine.  She  made the part work for her and she dominated the
> production, as  any
> Mama Rose must.  I loved her harder-edged take on the  character, whom I
> have always
> viewed as a kind of monster,  albeit at the end a sympathetic, even
> pathetic, one.  Her  voice
> was of a piece with her portrayal: hard-edged and, yes, shouty  at times.
> She made one
> very uneasy at the thought of having  Rose as a mother.  That is a totally
> valid approach,
>  although it certainly will not be to all tastes.    I repeat, it was  a
> great performance.
>
> MDW
>
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