Gypsy [Original London Cast]

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Amazingly, there was no London production of the 1959 Broadway musical Gypsy until 1973. One reason might be that the show was a star vehicle for Ethel Merman, who was not interested in appearing overseas. She never even toured the U.S., in Gypsy or any of her other musicals. In any case, when the show finally was done in the West End, it was done right. Angela Lansbury might be a native Briton, but she made her career in Hollywood and then on Broadway, originating roles in three musicals and winning two Tony Awards for her trouble before she made her stage debut in London in a straight play in 1972. Enough time has passed since Merman's portrayal for Lansbury to make ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Amazingly, there was no London production of the 1959 Broadway musical Gypsy until 1973. One reason might be that the show was a star vehicle for Ethel Merman, who was not interested in appearing overseas. She never even toured the U.S., in Gypsy or any of her other musicals. In any case, when the show finally was done in the West End, it was done right. Angela Lansbury might be a native Briton, but she made her career in Hollywood and then on Broadway, originating roles in three musicals and winning two Tony Awards for her trouble before she made her stage debut in London in a straight play in 1972. Enough time has passed since Merman's portrayal for Lansbury to make the starring role of Mama Rose her own, and she does. The part as written is essentially unsympathetic, which is why it requires a star to play it, and Lansbury is both a star and an actress who has some experience with unsympathetic characters. She sings the part beautifully on this cast album, making the performance another triumph to rank with her one in Mame. One fault common to British productions of American shows is faulty American accents, but this one largely sidesteps that problem. It probably helped that the director was Arthur Laurents, the American who also wrote the show's book, and that the leads were Lansbury, who's spent more time in the U.S. than her native country, and, as Louise/Gypsy Rose Lee, Zan Charisse, who is an American. But British actor Barrie Ingham, playing Herbie, not only boasts a good American accent, but also a far better singing voice than Jack Klugman, Broadway's Herbie. It is true that the young boys in "Let Me Entertain You [Montage]" sound British even cockney and that Andrew Norman, as Tulsa, singing "All I Need Is the Girl," occasionally betrays his U.K. origins. But these are minor complaints compared with most West End shows cast with British actors playing Americans. As a result, this Gypsy is usually believable, and it is always well sung, making it an excellent new interpretation, even if it was so long in coming that it probably should be called a revival rather than an original production.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/21/1990
  • Label: Rca Victor Broadway
  • UPC: 090266057122
  • Catalog Number: 60571

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Original London Cast Primary Artist, Indexed Contributor
Johnny Blythe Vocals
Anthony Williams Vocals
Angela Lansbury Vocals
Michael Rafter Conductor
Phillip Baldwin Vocals
Zan Charisse Vocals
Rosemary Faith Vocals
Eric Holliday Vocals
Ludovic Keston Vocals
Geoff L'Cise Vocals
Stuart Lock Vocals
Heather Seymour Vocals
Gerry Tebbutt Vocals
Valerie Walsh Vocals
Kelly Wilson Vocals
Andrew Norman Vocals
Bernice Adams Vocals
Barrie Ingham Vocals
Bonnie Langford Vocals
Richard E. Spencer Viola
Larry Cross Vocals
Laurie Webb Vocals
Technical Credits
Richard Leonard Musical Director
Norman Newell Producer
Jay Newland Remastering
Bill Rosenfield Remastering
J.J. Stelmach Art Direction
Arthur Laurents Director
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Angela Lansbury is the best!

    Having seen the 2003 revival of this mammoth show with Bernadette Peters at the Shubert Theater in New York, after listening to Peters's rendition, as well as other "Gypsy" recordings, Miss Angela Lansbury, I have to say, along with Miss Peters's version, are the 2 best Roses I have ever heard. Not to bash Ethel Merman, Rosalind Russell, Bette Midler or Tyne Daly fans, but Lansbury has captured some of the more psychological nuances of the monster who is, as Arthur Laurents put in his liner notes in the Peters disc, "a monster sweetly named Rose". Angela sings with gusto and a psychoticness that borders among the pathetic, irrational, and superhuman force of will. Whereas Merman was a voice, and Midler and Daly straightforward characterizations (their singing wasn't the best for songs like "Rose's Turn" or "Everything's Coming Up Roses") Angela Lansbury's got the gimmick, but gimmick it ain't...she really is Rose...and glad she's gotten her turn!

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