Patti LuPone on Barbara Streisand in ‘Gypsy’


Ah, Patti LuPone — always one with a colorful quote.

To add to this list, here’s what the Broadway diva had to say in a recent Q&A about Streisand starring in an on-again/off-again movie adaptation of Gypsy, a show for which LuPone won the 2008 Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award:

Any thoughts on the Barbra Streisand Gypsy remake that’s off and on again?
Doesn’t that tell you it’s not going to happen? Arthur Laurents told me the three actresses he had in mind for the role, and of the three, Streisand was the best choice. I think she’s the best choice.

Do you think it will ever happen?
I hope it doesn’t─ha! Movie musicals aren’t done well anyway. There’s no time for applause for the numbers. They aren’t shot correctly─you need to see the dancing. If Streisand gave herself over to the part…singing “Rose’s Turn” is all about giving up control and discovering it every time. I think Streisand is very in control. She would be like, “I’m going to fart, and everyone’s going to hear it!”

Read the full interview on TheatreJones >

3 thoughts on “Patti LuPone on Barbara Streisand in ‘Gypsy’

  1. Do you know what makes me laugh more? “There’s no time for applause for the numbers.” This, in Patty’s mind, is the difference between film and the theatre it seems. And I bet it’s her worst nightmare. I agree with her that rarely are numbers done well in film (although I offer Chicago – minus Mya- as an example that it can be done.) Not to get all analytical on an off the cuff remark BUT (here I go) Babs was around long before Patty. Look at Funny Girl – she did both the film version and the stage, and while I wasn’t born to see the stage version, the movie is perfection. (In fact, read Audition by Michael Shurtleff. He basically wets his pants over how fabulous the unknown Barbara Streisand was when she took the stage for her Funny Girl audition. Honestly, her audition for that show is probably the #1 apocryphal theatre audition tale I’ve heard over the years. Even if reading a practical acting book doesn’t ultimately appeal, it is so worth it for the casting stories. I highly recommend. It’s probably also the most valuable acting book ever written, as far as on the ground usefulness goes. And Bob Fosse wrote the forward.)

    Anyway, there is always that special theatrical immediacy missing from a movie musical. But it’s not because the lead actress isn’t getting her applause fix. Rosalind Russell knew that. Bette Midler too. I love Patty, but she wasn’t the first, and she’s certainly not the last Rose.

    1. Well said, Betsy. And I’m totally checking out that book.

      However, don’t ever let Patti see you spell her name that way :)

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