Musical Theatre Advent Calendar: GYPSY

“Strippers at Christmas time?” I hear you protest. Well, when one of the strippers has a light up costume, then yes! Besides, Gypsy one of the greatest musicals every listen and it deserves place of pride on just about any list. (Except a list of the worst musicals, natch.) Of course, Gypsy has a bigger link to Christmas than one might imagine. In the original 1959 production, the climax of Gypsy Rose Lee’s strip was ‘a special salute to Christmas’, described in The Sondheim Review by John Ellis as follows: ‘The curtain opens on a tableau a hung-over Ziegfeld might have dreamed up after an eggnog binge: the Gypsy stripper Christmas tree, 15 showgirls decked out in tinsel G-strings, faux burning-candle and bell hats, ornaments for boobs and a swag boa gracefully arcing from one crotch to the next, lush, hilarious — and unforgettable if you saw it.’ In the lamentably awful 1962 film version, we saw Gypsy Rose Lee in a special salute to the New Year, while later versions have showcased her in a tribute to the Garden of Eden. But for a while it was a Christmas tree – oh Christmas tree! – from base to summit, gay and bright with only splendor for the sight.

Got a special Gypsy memory? Head on down to the comment box.

Downloads from Amazon.com

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Gypsy Original Broadway Cast MP3 Album. 2. “Let Me Entertain You” OBCR Version MP3.. 3. Glee: The Music – The Christmas Album MP3 Album. 4. “Oh, Christmas Tree” Glee Version MP3..

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