Analysis Of Angela Lansbury's 'Gypsy'

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As soon as she came to America, she had to grow up very quickly and work to help her mother support themselves and three children. In addition to her distinct looks, the fact that Lansbury had to grow up rather promptly probably manifested in how she carried herself as an adolescent. She had to mature faster. In an interview reflecting on her Hollywood career Ms. Lansbury said, “I was playing women who were much, much older than myself. But what I was in those days was a character actor...movie studios didn’t really know how to deal with character actors. So after eight or nine years I left, and I went to the theatre – and that’s when I was able to realise my talent as an actress” (Brady). Despite the frustration Lansbury felt with how …show more content…
Gypsy was the second of four Sondheim shows that she starred in. Angela Lansbury played a Mama Rose that was very different from Ethel Merman’s, but was just as compelling. In an interview with New York Magazine, Stephen Sondheim said, “Ethel had one great strength: She knew how to play low comedy because it was in her bones. She knew how to do double takes. But Angie was brought up as an actress, so she had an entirely different take on Rose. Ethel was not one for analysis of character” (Green). Mama Rose in Gypsy earned Lansbury her third Tony. Between Mame and Gypsy, she starred in another Jerry Herman musical, called Dear World. Dear World only ran a few months in 1969, however, Lansbury received a Tony for her performance (Griffin). The next big show that Ms. Lansbury worked on was Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. She originated the role of Nellie Lovett, the quirky, pie-baking side-kick to the titular demon barber. Initially, Stephen’s macabre Sweeney didn’t win over audiences. But at the 1979 Tony’s, the award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical went to Angela Lansbury for her performance in the show (Griffin). The most recent years at age eighty-four, Angela Lansbury appeared in was the Broadway revival of A Little Night Music, another Sondheim show (“Angela Lansbury”). Her musical theatre career was based almost exclusively on the work of composers Jerry Herman and Stephen Sondheim. This speaks very highly of her desirable talent and star power, but also her work ethic and how she carries herself. Both composers work with her more than once and often sought her out for specific roles they were writing or roles that were to be

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