November 10, 2016 at 8:55 am #1201948149
Major television alert:
Imelda Staunton’s much-heralded London production of “Gypsy” is showing on PBS on Friday, November 11, 2016 @ 9 PM ET (check local listings).
She’s said to be amazing here, and for our purposes, this makes her a possible Emmy contender next year in Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Made for Television Film (see Emma Thompson in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and Audra McDonald in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” for comparison).
Discuss.November 10, 2016 at 9:10 am #1201948164
Or maybe it is another Angela Lansbury in Driving Miss DaisyNovember 10, 2016 at 9:38 am #1201948771
Which is why I said it’s a possible occurrence, like anything else in the damn world.November 10, 2016 at 9:50 am #1201948777
Imelda Staunton received rapturous reviews for her West End turn as Mama Rose. The role is an awards magnet. The possibility of not just being nominated but winning is high.November 10, 2016 at 10:01 am #1201948778
She won the Olivier awards in London, the production also won best revival of a musical, and she likely repeats at the Tonys.November 11, 2016 at 10:17 am #1201949276
About the Musical
Premiere date: November 11, 2016
Jonathan Kent’s award-winning production of the classic musical “Gypsy”–a record-breaking sellout during its acclaimed London run–comes to THIRTEEN’s Great Performances, Friday, November 11 at 9 p.m. on PBS on the PBS Arts Fall Festival. (Check local listings.) Hosted by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The first London production to be seen for 40 years, the musical opened at England’s Chichester Festival Theatre before moving to the West End’s Savoy Theatre. This critically acclaimed West End production features Imelda Staunton as Rose, as well as acclaimed turns by Lara Pulver as Louise and Peter Davison as Herbie.
Critics were unanimous in their praise of Staunton and the production. “Every facet of the character is caught by Imelda Staunton who gives one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen in musical theatre,” raved The Guardian. And The Times enthused, “If you like musical theatre, I urge you to see this stunning revival of one of the greatest Broadway musicals. If you don’t like musical theatre, see it anyway.”
With a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the show was suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee. The score features songs that have since become show standards, and helped launch the career of Sondheim. “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “Some People,” “Let Me Entertain You,” “Together, Wherever We Go” and of course “Rose’s Turn” are among the musical highlights.
“Gypsy” is considered by many to be one of Broadway’s all-time triumphs. It tells the story of ambitious showbiz mother Rose, who treks across the country with her daughters Baby June and Louise in search of success with their homespun vaudeville act. As times change, Rose is forced to accept the demise of vaudeville and the rise of burlesque, as well as her daughters’ quest for autonomy.
The London production was honored with five Olivier Awards, including Best Musical Revival, Best Actress in a Musical (Imelda Staunton), Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Lara Pulver).
Since “Gypsy”‘s premiere in 1959, Broadway has enjoyed four revivals, all of which have provided a unique take on the musical and its characters. Much of the show rests on the central casting of Rose, and each actress who takes on the challenge brings something very different to the role. “Gypsy” first appeared in 1959 on Broadway under the title “Gypsy: A Musical Fable.” Subsequent revivals starred Angela Lansbury (1974), Tyne Daly (1989), Bernadette Peters (2003), and Patti LuPone (2008).
The role of Rose is often called the “King Lear” of the musical theatre canon. The show continues to be produced by regional theatre companies around the whole of the USA. A London production had not been seen in the West End since 1973.
Imelda Staunton, OBE, is an Academy Award-nominated English actress best known for her performances in the films “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (as Dolores Umbridge) and “Vera Drake.” For the latter, she drew widespread critical acclaim, earning a number of awards including the BAFTA and Venice Film Festival Awards.
She has twice before received an Olivier Award for roles in two 1985 productions: “A Chorus of Disapproval” and “The Corn Is Green” and for the 1991 “Into the Woods.” Films include “Peter’s Friends” (1992), “Much Ado About Nothing” (1993), “Sense and Sensibility” (1995), “Twelfth Night” (1996), “Bright Young Things” (2003), “Shakespeare in Love” (2004), and “Freedom Writers” (2007).
The production was filmed by Emmy Award-winner Lonny Price for Ellen M. Krass Productions with Serpent Productions and Shout! Factory, in association with the BBC.
For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.
Great Performances is produced by THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its more than 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming.
The Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Rosalind P. Walter, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Lenore Hecht Foundation, The Abra Prentice Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, and PBS.November 11, 2016 at 11:00 am #1201949303
Had the pleasure of seeing Staunton in this show in the London run. The best performance I have ever seen on stage. Lara Pulver, who also won an Olivier, was also incredible.November 11, 2016 at 11:47 am #1201949328
Anybody who doesn’t watch or record this is a fool. A damn fool!
PBS is giving us a gift. Take it.November 12, 2016 at 6:58 am #1201949541
I must record/watch this. I love Imelda!November 12, 2016 at 3:14 pm #1201949750
For a filmed stage production, I found the PBS presentation to be pleasant.
I enjoyed the innovative use of projection during “Some People” to move the story along. I have seen Gypsy many times but that was new to me.
Staunton’s rendition of the famed one act closer “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” was inspired. Her performance hinted that Mama Rose suffered and may well be maniac depressive. It certainly set up the second act game changer when Mama Rose pushed Louise to strip in exchange for star billing.
All in all, Tyne Daly remains my favorite Mama Rose. I still mourn that CBS opted to cast Bette Midler in the TV movie after Daly’s Tony winning Broadway triumph. Daly brought a great deal of acclaim to the network and their failure to respect that was disloyal.
Now we wait to see if Streisand can actually deliver on her big screen version.November 13, 2016 at 9:40 am #1201950020
I also sensed a level of mania with this version of Mama Rose that I wasn’t quite expecting, but that’s the beauty of theater where each actor brings something new to the table regardless of the iconic nature of the role itself. It’s not like I have Lansbury’s, Daly’s, or LuPone’s performances as any comparisons, but still. Imelda Staunton was absolutely incredible here. I tip my invisible hat to ‘ya, madam. I didn’t even know that she could sing, let alone do everything that she did here. I primarily think of Staunton as a film actress, and she should have won the Oscar outright for “Vera Drake.” The level of range she had with Mama Rose is just everything. I mean, “Rose’s Turn,” bitches? WHEN WILL UR FAVS! I found the overall production lively and inventive. I also liked the use of projections throughout to help the audience along, though I’m not sure if it was simply a television device or not. The company handled this quintessential American musical beautifully. Crazy that all of them are British. This has to make it to Broadway, right? I could see this going just like the last revival of “Gypsy” where Imelda Staunton, Lara Pulver, and Peter Davison easily win Tonys. The best hopes this has for the Emmys are with Staunton in Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Made for Television Film and maybe Special Class Program. I’m quite awestruck over this tragic and bittersweet story as well. Musical theater’s answer to “King Lear,” indeed.November 13, 2016 at 10:46 am #1201950034
I wanted to love this, but Staunton is too much for the camera. This is the greatest leading role for a female actor in the American musical cannon. Patti LuPone was breathtaking, even Bernadette Peters brought something unique to the role. I’ve heard from multiple mouths that the performance in the theatre was wonderful, but as captured on film for PBS, Staunton is a trainwreck. I have only been able to watch bits and pieces over the last few months. If you start out over the top, there is no progression to the character. If you show us the character, we can see the monster. If you show us the monster, we can see the actress.November 13, 2016 at 10:51 am #1201950035
And the plans for this production to make the move to Broadway have been scrapped. The Roundabout Theatre Company kept an opening in their season for this year as they have a relationship with the director, but the deal fell through.November 13, 2016 at 11:07 am #1201950037
I wanted to love this, but Staunton is too much for the camera. This is the greatest leading role for a female actor in the American musical cannon. Patti LuPone was breathtaking, even Bernadette Peters brought something unique to the role. I’ve heard from multiple mouths that the performance in the theatre was wonderful, but as captured on film for PBS, Staunton is a trainwreck. I have only been able to watch bits and pieces over the last few months. If you start out over the top, there is no progression to the character. If you show us the character, we can see the monster. If you show us the monster, we can see the actress.
Too much for the camera? How ridiculous. I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn even know which night was filmed. Put it this way: she acts identically on screen as she does on stage when there is no camera. Stop creating flaws in Staunton just to uplift Peters and La Pone. Why can’t they all have done a good job.