Streisand to star in new film of 'Gypsy'?
Posted 12 January 2011 - 11:56 AM
Posted 12 January 2011 - 01:01 PM
Posted 12 January 2011 - 01:04 PM
Streisand has worked well with directors in the past (not all of them, granted). I don't think they would have too much trouble lining up someone if they do go forward. At least we know it won't be Rob Marshall, thank goodness.
Movie musicals are expensive propositions these days, which is part of it. I'd just as soon see Streisand over LuPone, Peters, et al. I'm also thinking Natalie Portman for Gypsy. She's pushing thirty but looks younger and might be a good matchup with Streisand.
Posted 12 January 2011 - 01:57 PM
Of Streisand projects, this one strikes me at first as one of the 'big ego trip projects' like 'A Star is Born', a kind of 'One More Big Thing for Barbra'; although 'Yentl' is one of those, and I think it's good. But I won't see this one. Most of the big B'way filmizations go the Dinosaur Route, like 'Nine'. It'll sell, but I think we've had enough of 'Gypsy' by now, and there are definitely some musicals that actually need remaking--like 'On a Clear Day You Can See Forever' (but theoretically only: No matter who did it, it would have no audience) which is Streisand's most atrocious film, and in which she even sings miserably;and 'A Little Night Music', which could easily be remade (and would have an audience, most likely: This is the one that needs it the most that I can think of right now--and modern actor/singers would definitely be able to get this right. I'd imagine they eventually will remake this.) I also don't think she'd be able to get Momma Rose right as an actress--the other great Momma Roses all have had the ability to project failure and let Gypsy be the 'real star', even though she's not the star of the musical: At the end you do believe Roz Russell when she says '...and her daughter GYPSY!'..no matter how 'drama-queen' and silly it is. Is anybody gonna believe Babs when she says, in response to Gypsy says 'If I could have, I would have', about being a star herself? Same with Lupone, who's had her ups and downs as well. The only highly-visible embarassment I can think of with Miss Streisand is her chasing Andre Agassi around the world, unless you include the 'Fockers' movies. Otherwise, she's always projecting power and an almost sterilized success--and some of it is not good (just think of her version of 'Some Enchanted Evening' on one of the B'way Albums for something really lugubriously florid. Too much of the later work has the same quality as Fitzgerald said of Daisy: 'Her voice is full of money'. This is the case even on pleasant, sensual-sounding things like 'Something Wonderful'.)
Posted 12 January 2011 - 04:02 PM
Posted 12 January 2011 - 04:10 PM
My Fair Lady and Gypsy are both good movies but hardly unassailable. I donít have a problem with remaking either one of them.
Based on the evidence before us Iím not inclined to assume Streisand is ego-tripping. If anything, sheís taking a risk and I would guess sheís looking for one more challenge after a storied career.
(Itís off topic, but the first two Fockers movies were decent commercial comedies, better than some of the other stuff De Niro has chosen to tax his long-suffering fans with. Havenít seen the latest one but Streisand looks great in the clips.)
Posted 13 January 2011 - 04:55 PM
In her drive to make her daughters stage stars, Mama Rose can turn psychotic in a flash. The real Mama Rose killed an agent by pushing him out a window.
Posted 13 January 2011 - 05:30 PM
Posted 13 January 2011 - 05:51 PM
Normal that we'd perceive these things so differently, but I definitely don't see Streisand as a 'needy' performer like Minnelli. When she's great, as with 'Sleepin' Bee' in the early days and even in the super-rich days (as on the Millenium DVD or CD), she's really great, and sometimes she can even sell me 'Evergreen', which I basically find a repulsively mediocre song. And of course 'Don't Rain on My Parade' as good in recent years as before (I actually like that Millenium Concert quite a lot, including the opening 'Somethin's Coming' with Lauren Frost. Maybe you mean something specific, though, because if she were really needy, I think she would have wanted to perform before a live audience a lot more frequently than she has, and she sure hasn't much. She seems to me to be able to play her audience like a piano, is in total command, there's a total confidence and no 'begging'.
That Millenium Concert also early in the show had Miss Frost as the young Barbra with her own pushy stage mother (not like Mama Rose, but more than I would have imagined; I hadn't known about that). So maybe that's something to draw from. I think it's the same show in which she said 'she had a beautiful voice, my mother--very high, operatic'. I believe her mother had died by then, and had been introduced in the 1994 concert.
I don't believe in the project as an artistic venture at all. It's all about big names, a prestige thing, Big Business, or Patti Lupone is the obvious choice if they really want a good Mama Rose onscreen. She's still got the vocal chops, although I didn't know Streisand didn't till Anthony told us the voice was much lesser--because there's the 2006 concert that also sounds very strong IMO. I did wonder what she was doing with that odd appearance at the Vanguard to 'try out those songs' for that corny-titled album, 'love is the answer', or whatever it was. I have noticed, though, along the lines of what Helene is saying, that in all the concerts going back to the big first one in 1994, the touchy edge has been removed, she's not snooty to her audience at all, and is very charming with them. I have to say I have liked that, esp. since she could sell (in all 3 of them that I've heard) 'The Way We Were' and the rest--even that terrible 'Miss Marmelstein' song from 'I Can Get It For You Wholesale'. I do find it an interestingly strange adventure to hear about, though. But for it to work, she'd need to equal or outdo Merman, and I don't believe she can do that at this age. Just way too old.
Posted 13 January 2011 - 06:14 PM
Of course, to many observers she has seemed an unlikable steamroller, so there you go. I think Laurents was wondering if she was really willing to plumb the depths - by the time of "Rose's Turn" Rose may well be mad - will Streisand go there?
Posted 13 January 2011 - 06:55 PM
Gently chastened, I gave up and we affixed a big ending and a tonic chord to the song, Ethel got an enormous ovation and the audience listened to the last scene in rapt silence. Lesson learned.
(Many years later, Arthur improved on Oscar's injunction and figured out a way for us to eat our cake and have it, too. He kept Rose bowing through the applause and continuing even after it died, indicating that the ovation was all in her mind.)
Posted 13 January 2011 - 07:44 PM
Posted 13 January 2011 - 09:50 PM
Another aspect of the character, and perhaps a more important one as it carries us through the show without hating Rose, is the enormous charm and charisma that go hand-in-hand with the steely ambition. I can easily imagine Streisand putting that across very well.
papeetepatrick, please understand that my questions about the state of her voice are based solely on her last album; I'd otherwise more or less lost track of her singing career since "The Broadway Album," so perhaps I'm underestimating her powers.
Posted 14 January 2011 - 10:08 AM
A useful distinction, I think.
According to the Post Streisand is thinking about directing it herself. I'm not sure anyone would give Laurents responsibility for a big budget film. Of course, "The Mirror Has Two Faces" was quite expensive.
Posted 14 January 2011 - 10:47 AM
Thanks, Anthony, I just put a hold on it and should have it in a few days, will report back. I imagine that was quite enough to judge on, though, but I'll make sure. In those concerts, everything is enhanced since they are always huge halls, and they have been as far back as the Madison Square Garden. And even so, it was still the unique power of the voice that was apparent: She was NOT like an opera singer in the sense that her voice was kept 'in perfect tune' from practising and regular performing. Most of the sound still was there on the 2006 CD, but the pitch is off more than it used to be even in 2000, and that's because she is not interested in it in a single-minded way, has a lot of other interests, and mostly does those concerts for the money. There's a limit to which I can admire her compared to other great pop and jazz singers, although admittedly her talent is unique--it's just not necessarily 'the greatest', and I think she has been heavily hyped from the beginning (not that the extraordinary potency wasn't there, of course it was). But if there's an obvious difference on the recorded object from what there was on the Broadway Album, that does mean that even with the studio enhancements, the voice has thinned.
I hope she does direct, that's the only way this spectacle will have the full Norma Desmond Effect it surely deserves IF we can get confidential reports of the inevitable backstage world wars.
I hadn't known Mama Rose had sent an agent to his reward by shoving him out the window. I guess that's after the party she attends with 'her daughter GYPSY'. Oh well, if Mama Rose is 'lovable', she is also more of a 'monster' than I knew--she's a homicidal maniac! Did she get jail time? What a horrible person--only Baby June Havoc really did well after all in this dysfunctional family, and she was furious at the made-up stuff and inaccurate portrayal of her by both Gypsy and the show. I recently saw an old 1950's Danny Thomas 'All-Star Revue' on VHS, with a bunch of comedy skits with Havoc and Eleanor Powell, and her early vaudeville technique and timing skills were fully intact as a mature woman--impeccable, as pro as possible. The stripper's main contribution is the musical about the mother IMO. I did see Gypsy in 'Belle of the Yukon' with Randolph Scott, and she is not a great screen presence, to put it mildly.
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