Set during the vaudeville era, Gypsy is about a relentless stage mother, Rose (Patti LuPone), who travels the country with her two daughters, June (Leigh Ann Larkin) and Louise (Laura Benanti), and their manager, Herbie (Boyd Gaines). While June and Louise wish their mother would settle down and marry Herbie, Rose continues to pursue dreams of stardom for her girls. When June deserts the act, Rose turns her attention to the shy Louise, whom she hopes to fashion into a star. When the act is booked into a burlesque house by mistake, Louise is forced into the spotlight and Gypsy Rose Lee is born.
Suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, this legendary musical features a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Arthur Laurents directs.
The original musical production of Gypsy bowed at the Broadway Theater May, 1959, starring Ethel Merman as Rose, Jack Klugman as Herbie and Sandra Church as Louise. The show ran for 702 performances, closing at the Imperial Theater in March, 1961. Gypsy has had two Broadway revivals: 1974 at the Winter Garden Theater with Angela Lansbury, Rex Robbins and Zan Charisse on the boards; and a 1 1/2 year run that started at the St James Theater in 1989 with Tyne Daly, Jonathan Hadary and Crista Moore.
The 1962 movie version starred Roz Russell, Karl Malden and Natalie Wood includes writing credits for Arthur Laurents and Leonard Spigelgass based on Gypsy Rose Lee's autobiography Gypsy, A Memoir and music credits for Jule Styne and Frank Perkins.