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Best Louise on a "Gypsy" Recording?

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Best Louise on a "Gypsy" Recording?#1
Posted: 2/15/08 at 6:16pm
So, Mama Rose has been debating a lot on here (especially recently). So what about Louise? Who is the Best Louise on a "Gypsy" Recording?
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#2
Posted: 2/15/08 at 6:25pm
Well, hopefully Laura Benanti is recorded and if she sounds anything like she did at city center she will certainly be the best.
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#2
Posted: 2/15/08 at 6:29pm
That's what I was thinking too :)
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#3
Posted: 2/15/08 at 6:30pm
Laura's ending of "Let Me Entertain You (The Strip)" Could have been a bit more powerful.
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#4
Posted: 2/15/08 at 6:34pm
all i know is laura made me cry during "little lamb" and i HAAAAAATE that song. she was beyond brilliant.
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#5
Posted: 2/15/08 at 8:02pm
On a recording, I think Zan Charisse is the best.
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#6
Posted: 2/15/08 at 9:41pm
I'll go with Christa Moore, as Laura Benanti has not been recorded (yet). Though Laura's interpretation of "Little Lamb" was the most heartfelt of the three different Louise's I have seen.
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#7
Posted: 2/15/08 at 10:01pm
Zan Charisse!
(til they record Benanti!)
i want to make thngs that count
- George, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#8
Posted: 2/15/08 at 10:08pm
Tammy Blanchard. I adore her "Little Lamb."
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#9
Posted: 2/16/08 at 3:41pm

The best GYPSY, bar none, is Zan Charisee on the Angela Lansbury/London cast album. Her Strip routine (the dialogue added for this prod by Arthur Laurents helps) is a lot of fun. The other recordings don't do it justice.

She also does the best version of "Little Lamb."


Laura made me cry during "little lamb" and i HAAAAAATE that song...

WHY do people hate this song? I just saw another (very fine) production of GYPSY and the song made me think:

1. It is the first quiet, reflective moment in the show coming 35 minutes into the first act. So far there had been a lot of Madame Rose/Merman, a number of lively vaudeville routines, the rambunctious "Mr. Goldstone" routine coming at the end of the lively, comic hotel scene. The audience needs this 2 1/2 minute break. Otherwise the first act would be too relentless. (It always struck me on the cast album how it comes halfway across side one, like a pause that refreshes.)

2. It sounds like a child's song, and indeed Sondheim keeps the rhymes simple and Styne provides a simple gentle melody. Yet underneath that simplicity is a plaintive sadness that underscores the final line "I Wonder how old I am."

3. The scene is placed in the middle of what would be Louise's birthday party. No one notices that she has slipped away. Alone. Forgotten. Talk about subtext!

4. It gives the actress playing Louise a moment to shine in the first act. She doesn't get a lot of stage time in Act One and without this number her prominence in the second half would seem out-of-balance.

5. Even ignoring all the above, the song is sweet.

How can such a sweet little song elicit such hatred from people?

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#10
Posted: 2/16/08 at 3:45pm
Laura Benanti
"Everytime you step on that stage it is somebody's first Broadway show and somebody's last Broadway show. Make it count."
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#11
Posted: 2/16/08 at 3:47pm
^ How can she be the best, she hasn't RECORDED IT yet.
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#12
Posted: 2/16/08 at 3:48pm
When she does record it...then she is my pick.
"Everytime you step on that stage it is somebody's first Broadway show and somebody's last Broadway show. Make it count."
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#13
Posted: 2/16/08 at 3:51pm
i'm fine with louise having a quiet, simple, and reflective song in that spot of act one. i just find that particular song to be a bit dragging and well, a bit boring. i'm not denying it serves a purpose for the character at all. i'm just not a fan of that song and almost always skip it on my cds and dvds.
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#14
Posted: 2/16/08 at 3:53pm
I don't get how LITTLE LAMB is a drag? It's only like 2.5 minutes. It's not an 8 minute song.
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#15
Posted: 2/16/08 at 3:56pm
i love how Merman does it on MERMANIA vol 1, like a lullabye.
it brings a tear to my eye.
i want to make thngs that count
- George, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#16
Posted: 2/16/08 at 3:58pm
30 seconds can drag. length has nothing to do with it really. i just find how the song is structured/written to be slow. i'm not saying louise needs a bright, up tempo, fun song, just something about the song "little lamb" always bugs me. i'm not the only person who feels this way. jerome robbins hated it (according to all i've read) and seth rudetsky once blogged "reminder to self: little lamb is not an invitation to flip through playbill." you and other are allowed to love it. it's there because sondheim and stein fought for it and i more than respect a writer/composer/lyricist intentions when they're that strong.
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#17
Posted: 2/16/08 at 4:01pm
Well Laurents and Benanti know how to make it work.
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#18
Posted: 2/16/08 at 4:05pm
benanti does for sure. she absolutely blew me away more than anyone else on that stage. (though i loved the entire cast)
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#19
Posted: 2/16/08 at 5:23pm
Laura Benanti sounds great on the recording.
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#20
Posted: 2/16/08 at 5:36pm
I recall reading somewhere that it was going to be cut, but Sondheim really wanted it to kept in, and Styne decided to back him up.
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Updated On: 2/16/08 at 05:36 PM
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#21
Posted: 2/16/08 at 5:54pm
I've heard that too, Todd.

I don't understand why people have to be hit over the head with an anvil in order to "feel" an actor's performance. Benanti's hammy overacting of the song, complete with hysterical sobs, was beyond over the top and took me out of the moment.
Have I ever shown you my Shattered Dreams box? It's in my Disappointment Closet. - Marge Simpson
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re: Best Louise on a 'Gypsy' Recording?#22
Posted: 2/16/08 at 6:58pm
30 seconds can drag. length has nothing to do with it really. i just find how the song is structured/written to be slow.

What? Does EVERY song have to have an idiodic disco beat to hold your attention? You mean to say you can't just relax and ride the emotion for 2 1/2 minutes? Talk about attention deficit!!

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com