Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton, who received rave reviews for her performance as Mrs. Lovett in the London revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, is expected to tackle another major musical theatre role in 2013.
The New York Times reports that Staunton will play stage mother Rose in a London revival of Sondheim, Arthur Laurents and Jule Styne's Gypsy that is planned for 2013.
Sondheim told the Times that he felt Staunton's comedic skills were especially appropriate for the overbearing Rose. Staunton, who won an Olivier Award for playing The Baker's Wife in the London premiere of Into the Woods, said that Rose, compared to Mrs. Lovett, is a "whole different ballgame, a daunting role, a very American character."
No timetable has been announced for a London production.
Gypsy features a score by Jule Styne (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and a book by Laurents. The musical bowed on Broadway in May 1959 at the Broadway Theatre, playing 702 performances before closing at the Imperial Theatre, where it later transferred, on March 25, 1961. Ethel Merman created the role of Rose in the original production; subsequent Broadway Roses include Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone (as well as Linda Lavin, who took over for Daly). Merman and Peters were Tony-nominated for their performances; Lansbury, Daly and LuPone won the award.
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