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Subject: Re: Imelda Staunton in "Gypsy"
From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 14 Nov 2016 18:59:04 -0500
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Dennis,

No argument from me... but the material is bigger and more encompassing
than just labeling Rose as weak and desperate.  Music, book, lyrics all
operate in unison to take this very complex woman apart psychologically - a
true "Gesamtkunstwerk" in the purest sense of the term .  It is the genius
of the show and why it is regularly revived every time a "contender" arises
who can spin the kaleidoscope and reveal another aspect of the remarkable
Rose.  Staunton in my opinion can stand with the best of them.

Steve

Your Trump analogy is one way, and a valid way

On Mon, Nov 14, 2016 at 6:31 PM, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>
>     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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