"Gypsy” is a musical with music by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim. It’s loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee and focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with "the ultimate show business mother." It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life.
(Also for ABC Wednesday: "W" is for "Wynn")This week's prompt reminded me of vaudeville so - here’s the Berownial quiz question.
The following scenelet should remind you of a famous musical. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is: name the musical.
“Call me Wynn. My stage name is Wynn Wonnderful.”
“Yes, I see this brochure you’ve had printed up. ‘Wynn Wonnderful, Songs, Dances, Tall Stories.’ But we have to face it, these are the 1920s. The old vaudeville acts aren’t so popular any more. In fact, neither is vaudeville.”
“Why do you say that? People still love to be entertained.”
“Yeah, but they love to be entertained by the new gimmick, motion pictures. Those flickering images are taking over. A lot of old vaudeville performers don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”
“But as an agent you know there are still quite a number of vaudeville bookings available in various parts of the country. And they’re ready for a new, exciting act like mine.”
“I had no idea you were a performer. From what I know of your career, you were sort of a classic stage mother. It was your two little daughters who were actually out there on the stage.”
“Yes, and we had one of the top acts. My two kiddies earned ten thousand a week on the Orpheum Circuit.”
“Face it; those days are gone. I remember seeing that act, those tiny, talented kids, years ago. How were they billed?”
“’Bitsy and Her Sister – Songs, Dances…”
“And Tall Stories,’ Yeah, I remember it well. Now the kids are growing up. Bitsy isn’t so bitsy any more. The other girl, she’s turned out to be a teenage beauty - we might be able to work something out with her, maybe in burlesque.”
“No, no. Neither of them is interested in show biz any more. I came to talk to you about this new act, Wynn Wonnderful, created specifically for this modern age we live in. It’s very upbeat, very positive. My songs can get an audience believing that everything’s coming up roses!”
“So you sort of feel that you did all the heavy lifting for the careers of your little kids and now it’s your turn?”
“You might put it that way. Just let me audition for you. This is actually your chance to get in on the ground floor of a sure-fire theatrical success. Wynn Wonnderful should be making ten thousand a week herself in a year or two.”
“Well, when you’re making ten thousand a week I might be interested. Otherwise, afraid not.”
(Also submitted to Sunday Scribblings.)