The production and Ethel Merman's now-legendary performance won high praise. "She is playing the indomitable mother of Gypsy Rose Lee," wrote Brooks Atkinson. "Her pipes resonant and her spirit syncopated, [Merman] struts and bawls her way through it triumphantly."
The musical earned eight Tony nominations, but won zero; the 1960 Tony Awards were extremely competitive, including powerhouse musicals Fiorello! and The Sound of Music.