Music: Jule Styne

Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim

Book: Arthur Laurents

Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, a famous burlesque stripper, Gypsy tells the story of Rose, an overbearing stage mother who is determined to break into the big time by pushing the vaudeville career of her younger daughter June. However, unwilling to tolerate her mother's manipulations, June elopes with a dancer. Rose then turns all of her attention on her older and less talented daughter Louise. Eventually Rose's dreams come to fruition when she successfully transforms Louise into a famous burlesque stripper known as Gypsy Rose Lee. No sooner has she succeeded, however, than Rose suffers a mental breakdown, realizing that she is no longer needed in her daughter's career.

Directed by the legendary Jerome Robbins, the original production featured Ethel Merman who gave the performance of a lifetime as Rose. It was the last stage role Miss Merman would create, and many of the songs from the show ("Some People" and "Everything's Coming Up Roses") have come to be counted among her biggest hits.

Gypsy opened at the Broadway Theatre on May 21, 1959 and closed on March 25, 1961 after 702 performances. It was made into a motion picture starring Natalie Wood and Rosalind Russell in 1963 and a TV movie starring Bette Midler in 1993. A Broadway revival was staged in 1974 with Angela Lansbury and again in 1989 with Tyne Daley.

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Related Sites

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