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Trivia / Gypsy

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The Play:

  • Cut Song: "Tomorrow's Mother's Day," "Momma's Talkin' Soft," "Nice She Ain't," "Smile Girls," "Who Needs Him?" and "Three Wishes for Christmas." All gloriously restored on the 2008 revival cast recording.
  • Dawson Casting: 20-something Natalie Wood played Louise as both a teenager and a young woman.
  • Referenced by...:
    • In Airplane!, Ethel Merman has a cameo as a shell-shocked veteran who thinks he's Ethel Merman, and "he's" singing "Everything's Coming Up Roses".
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    • Mama Rose of the 1993 TV adaptation is Winifred Sanderson, who now says, "Hello, Salem, my name is Winifred! What's yours?"
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The song "Momma's Talkin' Soft", mentioned above, was meant to be sung by the actresses playing Young June and Young Louise as they sat on a high platform and observed their mother flirting with Herbie to get what she wanted. Unfortunately, the actress who originally played Young Louise was petrified of heights and couldn't do the number, so it had to be cut.
  • She Really Can Act: The original production starred Ethel Merman, who was renowned as a comic actress and thus an unexpected choice for the flawed, dramatic part of Mama Rose; Merman herself expressed doubts about "Rose's Turn," pointing out that it was more aria than musical theatre. Regardless, she completely owned the role and played Mama Rose with a mixture of comedy, pathos, and depth that is still considered the benchmark for the part.

The film adaptation:

  • The Cast Show Off: In contrast to West Side Story, where she was dubbed, Natalie Wood shows off her singing here.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Rosalind Russell's vocals were blended with Lisa Kirk's for Mama Rose's singing.
  • Reality Subtext: Natalie Wood had her own experiences with an abusive Stage Mom, just like her character.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Another actress was originally cast as Dainty Jane but was replaced with Ann Jillian, because it was decided she looked too young for the role.
    • Rosalind Russell and Frederic Bisson were hoping to do a straight dramatic adaptation of Gypsy Rose Lee's memoirs, but the rights of the book were tied up in the rights of the stage version. As a result, the film is an adaptation of the musical.


The TV Series:

  • Fake American: Naomi Watts is British/Australian, but as usual plays an American.

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