Saw the movie Gypsy last night, starring Natalie Wood, who is one of my very favorite actresses. Wow! Loved it. It is based on the memoirs of famous burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee. The movie starts out showing the early life of Gypsy, whom is really named Louise.
Louise plays a boy in the background of a Vaudeville act featuring her younger sister, who was billed as Dainty June. They had this crazy stage mother named Rose, who would stop at nothing to make the act a hit. She dragged them all over the country and pushed them to perform their hardest. There came a point in time where June was over it- she wanted out. She ran off and married one of the background dancer guys. Rose was plucked! But she picked herself up by the bootstraps and found a new act to manage. She decided her less talented daughter Louise was going to be the headliner. But times were changing. People were not interested in Vaudeville any more, because sound films were being introduced into theatres. Louise and her mother were accidentally booked at some crappy theatre, not realizing it was a house of burlesque.
They were out of money, so Louise agreed to go on stage and perform some Burlesque. Her mother told he to keep it classy- just remove your gloves and at the end maybe just pull down one shoulder strap. She told her to go easy on the make up, put her hair up and wear a nice gown- that was going to be her gimmick- that she wasn't trashy. Well, the gimmick worked. Guys went nuts because she barely showed anything. She ended up this huge crazy star.
Her mom was so annoying and stage mothery, that she was banned from many of the theatres. She finally got backstage to one of them and tried to tell off her famous daughter. She said "Why do you think I did all of this?!" and her daughter was like "I thought you did it for me." But it was clear that Rose was doing it all for herself- she wanted to be a star.
Great movie, great music and Natalie Wood was just perfect.