Barbra Streisand to Produce, Direct & Star in Adaptation of 'Gypsy'
by Ethan Anderton
January 5, 2011
Though she's extremely well known for using her vocal and acting talents on screen, the iconic Barbara Streisand hasn't taken part in a big screen musical since Yentl in 1983. Now it looks like she's ready to return to the genre in a big way as The New York Post reports Streisand is negotiating to produce, direct and star in an adaptation of the classic 1959 Braodway musical Gypsy. Of course, the role is a bit different than the musical roles that Streisand has taken previously as the story follows Mama Rose, "the ultimate show business mother," as she raises her two daughters to perform on stage albeit with some psychotic fits of rage every now and then.
Loosely based on the 1957 memoir of Rose Lee, the musical paints a fairly pretty picture of show business even if Mama Rose is a bit on the crazy side (in fact the real Rose Lee apparently killed an agent by pushing him out a window). And in case any of you musical aficionados don't think Streisand is too much "like butter" to pull of such a brutal role as Mama Rose, you'll be happy to know 92-year-old Broadway legend Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book to the show, has given Streisand his full blessing. Laurentis said:
"Barbra and I have had long talks on this very subject. She had a mother who she always thought was Mama Rose. I don't want to get into the details, but the point is she knows. She's got it in her. She's going to be much more than people expect."
This isn't the first time the Broadway musical has seen a film adaptation since the 1962 Marvyn LeRoy directed iteration starring Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood and Karl Malden. Considering the only films Ms. Streisand have made in the past decade are Meet the Fockers and the recently released Little Fockers, she has no place to go but up. And considering her high profile status, despite the fact that she hasn't worked in film much over the recent years, her name will definitely reel in quite an impressive musical cast. Anyone interested?