Way before there was Cher or Lady Gaga, there was Gypsy Lee Rose. The woman, born in 1911 in Seattle, practically invented the striptease and put burlesque on the map. No word on whether she wore large feather headdresses or any clothing made out of meat, but she certainly had a style all her own. Today would be her 100th birthday, so happy birthday, Gypsy Lee!
Why exactly are we making another musical movie about stripping? Did Burlesque really do that well in theaters? I thought only my hairdresser went to see it.
Personally, I hate musicals. Really do. There's only been one which I enjoyed, and that was one-act The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. If you haven't seen it, please make an effort to. If this musical-hater loved it, I'm sure you will to. But I digress.
Gypsy isn't going to be a brightly-colored, poppy jaunt through the park, either. It's a dark story, and kinda heavy. At least that's what my hairdresser told me. Gypsy, you see, was a determined performer with an even more determined mother. They traveled around the country with vaudeville troupes until fate booked them at a burlesque hotel one night. I'ts there and then that Gypsy found "her gimmick" and within a year her own burlesque show drew crowds of over 10,000 people to Minsky's Republic in New York City. She was a stripper with class, charm, and ingenuity. It was the 1940s. In the 60s, she performed for the troops in Vietnam, and some soldiers envisioned her as their sexy grandmother. She died in 1970.
There is no doubt Gypsy's story is interesting and entertaining, having already spawned a few books, movies, and TV specials, but I don't really see a dark musical doing well at the box office.
Maybe they'll give Zac Efron a role though, see if he can't draw a crowd. He has experience having been in High School Musical. But the person who really needs a part in Gypsy is Lindsay Lohan. She loves stripping! It's a perfect fit. Now only if Streisand can get Lohan insured ...
Will you and my hairdresser be the only ones to see this Gypsy biopic?
Photo via pascal pino/Flickr