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Imelda Staunton/Bette Midler in GYPSY is streaming for free

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TaleofTwo
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“Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; But theatre will make you good.” ? Terrence Mann
Updated On: 9/11/20 at 01:41 PM
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I remember watching this when it was first available on PBS a while back and being very underwhelmed. While it might have played better live, that intensity she brought became magnified too much with the camera right in her face. I also remember feeling that she was already amped up to 9 from her first scene, which meant that there was very little room for her build to 10 by "Rose's Turn," so it became a somewhat exhausting experience. It stripped Rose of her journey and left the character feeling rather one note. Though I did hear from friends who saw her early in the run who said that there was a lot more growth at that point and the build from the beginning of the show to the end was much more evenly paced.

I do still hope to see her in a show live over here in NY at some point, as I find her to be a pretty exciting presence for the most part.

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fashionguru_23
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I thoroughly enjoy Gypsy, and watched when this was on PBS a while ago. I don't know how much I like Staunton as Rose. She plays her at 500% from "Sing out, Louise" to Rose's Turn. She's already at the highest of highs, so there is nowhere for her to go. The medium of film/television isn't great for this portrayal of Rose. Perhaps this is why Ethel Merman made so few movies...(it was said she was too big and loud for the screen).

If I need a filmed Gypsy, I go to Bette Midler...or other prohibited viewings.

"The 54th Street[theatre] had a rep as. . .where old musicals went to die." -Smaxie
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qolbinau
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I really don't like Bette Midler's version, either. A staged filming, a TV movie and a Hollywood movie and yet we still don't have a good record of the show. Why couldn't they film Patti, or Bernadette?

"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
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Jordan Catalano
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I looooove the Midler version. Love. Love. Love. I stopped “defending” it years ago, it is what it is.

As for Imelda, I don’t understand her on stage. On film she’s brilliant. Every performance is spectacular. On stage it’s the same manic crazed character every time. From Follies to Gypsy to Virginia Woolf. I’m terrified about how she’s going to approach Hello Dolly, but I’m sure it’ll be....something.
DAME
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Jordan Catalano said: "I looooove the Midler version. Love. Love. Love. I stopped “defending” it years ago, it is what it is.

As for Imelda, I don’t understand her on stage. On film she’s brilliant. Every performance is spectacular. On stage it’s the same manic crazed character every time. From Follies to Gypsy to Virginia Woolf. I’m terrified about how she’s going to approach Hello Dolly, but I’m sure it’ll be....something.
"

I saw Imelda do this live and I thought she was just awful .  Pattis was all set to be taped and then unfortunately it closed early .

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ScottyDoesn'tKnow2
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I couldn't stand more than ten minutes of this production before I had to turn off. I thought she was going to start punching audience members in the front row. I grew up thinking Rosalind Russell was a great Mama Rose before I discovered her performance in Auntie Mame and then discovering much better Roses out there, so I thought I had a high tolerance for so-so Roses, but Staunton was just way too much. Watching her in various films, I think she's someone who needs to be directed carefully because her default is too much, and if given a little bit of encouragement to go in that direction and...well...like Joe Catalano said, her version of Hello Dolly! will be "something".

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David10086
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Thanks for the warning! Saw this on PBS and not only did she chew up the scenery, she chewed up the furniture in the room I was in. When it was announced they were planning on bringing this production to Broadway, I knew that was one show to avoid.
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IdinaBellFoster
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Still too expensive for me to watch it.
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NJGUY
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I saw this early in its run in London and thought she was captivating.  One of my favorite Roses ever, and I have seen all the Broadway Roses since Angela Lansbury, plus Betty Buckley at The Papermill Playhouse.  She might have schmaltzed it up more as the run went on, yet when I saw her, she was nothing short of brilliant.

carnzee
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ScottyDoesn'tKnow2 said: "I couldn't stand more than ten minutes of this production before I had to turn off. I thought she was going to start punching audiencemembers in the front row. I grew up thinking Rosalind Russell was a great Mama Rose before I discovered her performance inAuntie Mameand then discovering much better Roses out there, so I thought I had a high tolerance for so-so Roses, 

I actually like Rosalind Russell as Rose acting wise, as does theater historian Ethan Mordden. But I just can't abide a dubbed Rose. I don't mind a dubbed Eliza or Anna Leonowen for some reason. Plus I'd rather they cast Ethel or Judy. 

It will be interesting to see Imelda as Queen Elizabeth, a subtle person if ever there was one. 

 

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Filmed in London's claustrophobia inducing Savoy Theatre which feels like it's partially submerged under the Thames. The glimpses of the backstage passages had me gasping for breath. But fortunately, one doesn't have to be there to watch online and it's a smart, very good production of a great musical. However, the orchestrations of the score or perhaps the combinations of instruments in the pit or perhaps their playing is not what I would call felicitous. The harshness of Staunton's performance which is probably a conscious choice could have used some softening balance in the pit. I don't think there are any strings in this arrangement. 

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Updated On: 9/9/20 at 06:41 PM
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TaleofTwo
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Fun fact is that Ellen M. Krass that got this one done was supposed to film the Patti revival (I even remember ticket holders being notified about cameras filming the show), but then producers decided to close the production a month early and couldn't care less about the filming getting canceled. 

“Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; But theatre will make you good.” ? Terrence Mann
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TaleofTwo
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Added link to the Bette Midler version

“Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; But theatre will make you good.” ? Terrence Mann
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i've seen 4 versions of GYPSY...Angela Lansbury live...Imelda and Bette on tv...and of course the Roz Russell film...I LOVE ROZ as Mama Rose...but she couldn't sing the score well enough...i loved Bette, even though she did seem manic in her own way sometimes...I HATED IMELDA as Rose...she was hyped-up on drugs it seemed, for the whole musical...lastly, i LOVED seeing Angela as Rose live on stage...a true stage star playing the greatest role written for a woman in a musical...

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”I LOVE ROZ as Mama Rose...but she couldn't sing the score well enough.”

Lisa Kirk did the singing for Russell in the 1962 film adaptation of GYPSY.