Let Me Entertain You: The Top Ten Songs by Jule Styne

By Ben Rimalower
18 Jan 2014

4. "Let Me Entertain You" from Gypsy, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Some might question my inclusion of "Let Me Entertain You" from Gypsy instead "Everything's Coming Up Roses." Of course, "Everything's Coming Up Roses" is a killer showstopper and a cherished standard, but for me, it's only really engaging when performed in the (thrilling) context of Madame Rose's jackknife decision to cut her losses with the daughter that left her and switch her focus to the one that stayed. "Let Me Entertain You," on the other hand, while merely special material for a kiddie show (and later a burlesque act) in Gypsy, has proven quite effective everywhere else. For all the fabulous songs Bernadette Peters sang in Gypsy, she chooses to open her concerts with "Let Me Entertain You." It's such a simple, basic idea: Let me entertain you. Isn't that the core of what show business is about?