As soon as I heard that a revival of Gypsy was coming to the West End I really wanted to secure a ticket, and luckily U and the other J were happy to join me in this quest. I wouldn't say musicals were my first love musically speaking, but D always made sure it if wasn't the Beatles or Frank Sinatra, a musical would be playing on his very precious record player. M was pretty contemptuous beyond West Side Story really and would play Helen Reddy instead. They would meet in the middle for James Taylor and Blossom Dearie. When I was around eleven, D famously took me to see That's Entertainment at the cinema whilst M stayed at home and re-upholstered the couch rather than accompany us. I always suspect it was her "I'm washing my hair" excuse turned up to eleven!
Even though I knew D had a passion for Sondheim I wasn't aware how many of the lyrics had entered my consciousness until I bought the London cast soundtrack in preparation. "Have an egg roll, Mr Goldstone, have a napkin, have a chopstick, have a chair.", "Got my tweed pressed, got my best vest, all I need now is the girl", "Everything's coming up roses and daffodils, everything's coming up sunshine and Santa Claus. Everything's gonna be bright lights and lollipops, everything's coming up roses for me...and for you" and of course "Let me entertain you, let me make you smile. Let me do a few tricks, some old and then some new tricks, I'm very versatile" just seem to be locked in my head and came flowing out when I heard them again.
The reviews for Imelda Staunton taking in the role as the indomitable archetypal stage momma, Rose, had been stellar as I was very eager for tonight's performance. They didn't make dire warnings about taking photographs or turning off mobile phones but we're grownups, we know how to behave. So I took a picture of the curtains closed just before the overture started, and then put my camera away.
If I'd taken another photograph I would have liked to preserve the moment when you could have heard a pin drop as Rose, standing alone, slowly unravels in front of our eyes singing "And Mama's talkin' loud. Mama's doin' fine. Mama's gettin' hot. Mama's goin' stong. Mama's movin' on. Mama's all alone. Mama doesn't care. Mama's lettin' loose. Mama's got the stuff. Mama's lettin' go. Mama...?" It was beautifully done, surely an award or two is due for Ms. Staunton there. I guess I will have to wait for the DVD to see it again.