Gypsy

Gypsy is a musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents. Gypsy is based on the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with “the ultimate show business mother.”

The original Broadway production opened on May 21, 1959 at The Broadway Theatre and subsequently transferred to the Imperial Theatre, Broadway running for 702 performances after two previews. The show was produced by David Merrick and directed/choreographed by Jerome Robbins. Ethel Merman starred as Rose, with Jack Klugman as Herbie and Sandra Church as Louise.

It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life. At first, she focuses on the younger, cuter June. But when June runs off to marry her beau, Tulsa, Rose concentrates on her other daughter, Louise. Louise, filled with hidden talent, becomes a star. The character of Louise is based on Lee, and the character of June is based on Lee’s sister, the actress June Havoc.

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