2003 Gypsy Cast AlbumNow $9.50 on Amazon Get the deal now!
The casting of cute, petite Bernadette Peters as the formidable Mama Rose in the 2003 revival of Gypsy led to a few raised eyebrows: Was this egregious miscasting? After all, previous Roses have included Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, and (on TV) Bette Midler, all of them strong women who can belt with the best of them. Peters took a slightly different approach to the role, emphasizing the dramatic reading of her songs instead of blasting her way through sheer power–she acts the material as much as she sings it. Nowhere is this as convincing as on “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and especially “Rose’s Turn,” the latter as good a rendering of showbiz madness as you’re ever likely to hear. Peters’s acting skills are further emphasized by the generous helpings of dialogue that frame the musical numbers. The rest of the cast is superlative, and Marvin Laird conducts a spirited orchestra. Discussions as to which recording of Gypsy is the definitive one will never end, but this album certainly deserves to be included among the finalists. –Elisabeth Vincentelli