Gypsy

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What is critically known as the best American musical, Gypsy provides American musical theatregoers with dynamic characters, a captivating story and extraordinary music. Gypsy is an American musical that is based on the self-written book, “The Memoirs of ‘Gypsy Rose Lee’”. It is often referred to as, Gypsy: A Musical Fable. The musical made its debut on May 21, 1959 at The Broadway Theatre in Manhattan. The characters have been subject to many in depth analysis throughout its lifetime, adding a lot of new content and progressive thinking to the world of musical theatre. The history of the musical, musical acts, correlation to the real story of Gypsy Rose Lee, awards won and impact Gypsy had on musical theatre will be discussed in further detail. Arthur Laurents wrote the book, which, again, was roughly based off of the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee. The well established and highly respected, Jule Styne wrote the music for Gypsy. Stephen Sondheim, who was not as popular at the time, wrote the lyrics. Sondheim expressed his desire to write the music for the show, but Gypsy star, Ethel Merman insisted that an experienced composer write the music. Sondheim was turned off by this request, but still wrote the lyrics due to the advice given to him by his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein. Hammerstein believed Sondheim would learn a lot by writing for a star. Jerome Robbins directed and choreographed the original Broadway production. With a stacked directing and production team, it is no surprise that Gypsy’s debut was a smash hit. The original production of Gypsy ran for two years - totaling up to 702 performances and was nominated for eight Tony Awards. Gypsy consists of two acts with an abundance of vibrant characters and over 20 musical numbe... ... middle of paper ... ...st. Gypsy provided tremendous entertainment while still giving the audience real material that was thought provoking. Audience members find themselves tapping their toes to the good beats and catchy lyrics, but also wondering what are Rose’s true motives and other storyline questions. Work coming after Gypsy such as, Chicago incorporated this fun-spirited yet dynamic story to the overall musical experience. This is a significant impact on the world of American musical theatre, because American musicals had already been well established by the late 1950s. In conclusion, Gypsy is an American musical that has helped shape the role of complex storylines with high entertainment into the world of theatre. The characters of Gypsy Rose Lee and Rose plus the great lyrics and music have provided thousands of theatregoers with pure entertainment for over 50 years.

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