& Christa Tandana
Bayside High School, Grade 12
Hannah: How amazing was Gypsy? Right?
Christa: Yeah, it was pretty good.
Hannah: Patti LuPone played the overbearing and obsessed mother, Rose, incredibly well.
C: I concur. She's a great actress. She was indeed the star of the show, but the cast as a whole worked superbly together.
H: The little girl who played Baby June was hysterical, and a definite scene stealer. I particularly remember how she wouldn't want to leave the stage after each performance, and comically kept on returning as the spotlight left her.
C: And wasn't it sickening how Baby June and Louise's mother made them pretend that they were perpetually eight years old, even when they entered young womanhood? I mean, they were forced to do the same lackluster, corny act for years upon years. I felt kinda bad for them.
H: Indeed, this dramatic and thought-provoking play showed the devastating consequences of Rose's overbearing way, and the effects it had upon her children, lover and eventually herself. She even reminded me a bit of the character Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With the Wind, in that she was blind to everything but her own pathetic dreams and stubborn, hubristic conduct.
C: She pushed her daughters in vaudeville, which was a dying form of entertainment. She had a dream to become a star herself, but when she realized that was unattainable, she tried to live it out through her children. She pushed them to become stars whether they liked it or not. She was one crazed stage mom!
H: I totally agree. I felt bad for June, the star of the show, who eventually got fed up with her mother's domineering manner and left her family on the road to pursue her own career without Rose. But you can't forget about Louise, the real tragic figure of the play.
C: Yeah, I was actually pretty shocked and saddened as I watched Louise, an innocent bookworm with no talent for performing, transform into "Gypsy Louise Rose," the sexy burlesque performer traveling across the nation at the behest of her mother's aspirations. Do you think that her daughter would have gone into a different profession than she ended up in if Rose wasn't there to push her?
H: I can definitely imagine Louise would have wound up with a different career. Her whole life was ruined by her mother. But still, I do sorta feel bad for Rose, in a way. I mean, she had one last chance at love with Herbie, her daughters' manager, yet she continually pushed him away until even he, who loved her so much, walked away. The scene where he finally gets up and leaves behind the insanity of Rose was particularly moving. But then again, this entire play was heartrending. My only problems with it are that it was a bit long and there were one or two superfluous scenes.
C: Thinking back, the ending could have had more plot resolution. I mean, it was good in that it showed Rose in her distraught state and that in the end she was just a "could've been." But it would've been better if it wasn't so abrupt. I was sort of hoping that it didn't end like August: Osage County, but to my dismay, just like Violet Weston, Rose was left in a pathetic condition. It was fitting, in a way, but the closing scene was just a bit off and left more to be desired.
H: Still, overall, Gypsy was fantastic.
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