So Barbra Streisand is still talking about playing Mama Rose in Gypsy. Now, I love Babs, but she is 74, and when Dainty June and Rose Louise went into vaudeville in the early 1920s, “Mama Rose” was only in her early 30s. Seriously, Barbra, who’s going to play your Dainty June, Madonna?
By the way, here is some footage of the actual Dainty June Havoc, aged six, in a Harold Lloyd comedy:
My dream version of Gypsy would have been a mid-1960s revival starring Judy Garland as Mama Rose, and Liza Minnelli as Gypsy. Excuse me, I have to go lie down for a few minutes, even thinking of that.
I’m back. One of the great crimes of musical theater is that of all the Mama Roses (“Mamas Rose?”)—Ethel Merman, Bette Midler, Tyne Daley, Bernadette Peters, Patti Lu Pone—Liza in her prime never got a crack at the role. Here she is killing “Some People” in 1979:
I’ve seen Judy Garland herself doing “Some People,” but Liza blows her own Mom out of the water. Barbra Streisand, I love you, but leave the next Mama Rose to . . . Jeez, I can’t even think of any age-appropriate Broadway belters today who would be good in the role. Let’s just wait another 20 years and see what the next generation brings.