There’s something of the Mother Courage about Mama Rose. Like Bertolt Brecht’s play, in which a woman trades her way through the 30 years’ war in a primal effort to support her family, Gypsy is about a mother who acts out of economic necessity to keep her daughters alive. It is not a pretty tale.
In an embittered take on the American dream, the Arthur Laurents/Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim musical shows the entrepreneurial spirit at its most extreme – and least rewarded. Mama Rose, the ultimate stage mother, drags daughters June and Louise from one vaudeville fleapit to the next, sustaining their tawdry act on self-belief alone. [READ MORE]