Gypsy Gossip From One Of The Herbies

Categories: Theater

Gypsy Together-edit.jpg

It's never too late to get insight into Gypsy, the classic 1959 musical about cerebral stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and the mother who destroyed her and made her a star at the same time.

I recently ran into Peter Riegert, who played Herbie opposite Bette Midler in the 1993 TV version of the show.

He told me that when he was preparing to do the part, he ran into Jack Klugman, the original Herbie opposite the immortal Ethel Merman.

Klugman generously passed on to Riegert the advice he was accorded by the great Merm.

Said she:

"Jack, I'll stick to the singing, you stick to the acting, and we'll have a hit."

Riegert realized that was a good idea since he couldn't sing any more profoundly than Klugman could.

In fact, Riegert told me that when he played the original cast album as part of his research, he thought, "Hey, I could miss those same notes!"


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10 comments
Normadesmond
Normadesmond

that midler "gypsy" was awful. on paper, it surely read fantastic, but it was wrong. so.

JEWISHPRINCESS0
JEWISHPRINCESS0

I have always loved loved Gypsy Rose Lee since I was 10 years old. Rosiland Russell was another incredible actor human being outspoken genius.Where are people like them today....Bette Midler ..no.Oh yeah..Elaine Stritch..another genius.

Musto
Musto

"Together" was cut from the movie version. I have the footage and I can see why. It's charmless and off-key.

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

And Klugman originally had his own song in "Gypsy" about Rose called "Nice She Ain't," but was so self-conscious about his singing he finally told Styne and Sondheim, "Take this song and shove it up your ass!"

Ironically, when Sondheim played and sang "You'll Never Get Away from Me" for friends while the musical was being rehearsed and he came to Herbie's "Aw, Rose," he said, "I can't do this as well as Jack."

Darco
Darco

Herbie sings in "Together" and "You'll Never Get away From Me".

Stelmachlovejoy
Stelmachlovejoy

when does herbie sing? glad everything is coming up roses and dafidills for me and for youuuuuuuu! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE,!!!!!!!!!

Brentwood
Brentwood

Peter Riegert is in We Bought a Zoo. Glad he's still working a lot.

Bwaybill
Bwaybill

My favorite Herbie was Karl Malden in the movie. He shouldn't be played too passive.

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