Thursday, September 04, 2014

Some People

I slept in this morning. I had enough time to enjoy a CD while I ate breakfast. Gypsy is one of the most beloved Broadway musicals of all time. It's been back on Broadway at least five or six times since it debuted in 1959, including a few years ago in a well-received version with Patti LuPone, but I have the original cast with Ethel Merman. Merman had spent most of the 50s appearing in light, mostly so-so vehicles tailored to her talents. With Gypsy, she finally found a show that fit her brash style and had the substance to back up her larger-than-life persona.

Merman plays Mama Rose, the ultimate show-business mother, pushing her two daughters through vaudeville. All June and Louise want is for her to get married, and while she does pick up a sweet salesman named Herbie (Jack Klugman) along the way, she's more interested in making her girls stars. "Baby" June does become a an adult comedienne on Broadway, away from her scheming mother. When the act ends up in low-down burlesque, tomboyish Louise reinvents herself as Gypsy Rose Lee, striptease artist supreme. Mama can't stand that she's not a part of her daughters' lives anymore, but by the end of her big finale, mother and daughter realize how much they have in common...including having been pushed away all their lives.

(Incidentally, my copy of the cast album comes with an extra treat. Among several cut songs that were recorded by other artists were "Mama's Talkin' Soft." Originally intended for June and Louise to sing above their mother in counterpoint to "Small World," the number was dropped when one of the girls turned out to be afraid of heights. Too bad; it's a really fun song, one of my very favorite cut numbers of all time.)

I wish I could have stayed with Ethel Merman. When work wasn't dead, it was annoying. People were obnoxious, rude, and cranky all day long. They wouldn't bag. They wouldn't read prices or WIC checks. They were rude to me and others. What the heck is going on? Mom said customers have been nasty at the Ferry too. People who were on vacation were rude! I was so happy when one of the college boys came in right on time to get me out of there.

I had some quick leftovers for dinner, then cleaned the kitchen while watching more later Bowery Boys. Duke is saying Hold That Hypnotist when Sach is put under by a man he thinks is a quack...and seems to regress to a past life where he was a tax collector who somehow got his hands on a map to Blackbeard's treasure. Now everyone wants to hypnotize Sach and find out where that treasure is!

The Boys also go treasure hunting in Spook Chasers, the final East Side Kids/Bowery Boys horror-oriented movie. Mike Clancy, the new owner of their favorite hang-out, buys a house in the country for a place to soothe his nerves. Turns out the house is a lemon, and no one's happy...until Sach discovers a hoard of cash hidden in the walls. When the gangsters who sold them the house find out about the cash, they come up with the idea of scaring the Boys out. They're not the only ones doing the scaring, though...

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