POST: 'Gypsy' - chasing her dreams of being an actress through her daughters

What'd I experience?

The first time I saw the promotional image for Gypsy I was in awe. I instantly had high expectations because the image looked like a burlesque show. I was ready to see a show that was basically identical to Burlesque the movie, starring Christina Aguilera.

My, my, my were my expectation wrong! The show began with little children singing and dancing about how much they love to perform. Two girls (June and Louise) stood out the most. In the middle of their performance there was a women screaming at the top of her lungs from backstage. The woman was trying to direct them. It was their mother, Rose. I can’t even lie, it was very funny hearing her yell at her daughters when you couldn’t even see her. You could just tell she was a stage-mom.

When the girls didn’t do exactly as she said she ended up coming out from backstage, going on the stage herself, and assisting them with perfecting their positions. The director of the act was beyond mad. He was confused at how normal she thought running on the stage was. It was completely unacceptable but she did it anyway. She wanted her girls to be the best actresses they could possibly be.

Fast-forward a couple of years later, the girls are now teenagers and they’re still doing the same old acts that their mother put together for them as kids. They haven’t gotten any success and they were practically homeless, living day-by-day on change. Despite all of this, their mother still believed that she could turn them into actresses. They saved up every cent they had and traveled by train to almost every state to showcase their talent but nobody was interested. It was pretty sad watching a mother who couldn’t provide for her kids. Even though that’s sad, the saddest part to me was watching someone fight so hard to make a dream come true but get nowhere.

The girls were exhausted with the same act their mother made them do. So, June ran off with a boy and left her mother alone with Louise. Her mother was furious but didn’t even try to go find her. That’s when I knew there was something wrong with her. How could you not go find your child? Or at least ask around for her? Instead of trying to find June, she prioritized Louise and went on with her as a solo act. Rose was clearly desperate for fame and fortune.

It was so clear that Rose was chasing a dream that was hers and not her daughters. She ended up booking an event at a burlesque theatre by accident. As soon as she got there she wanted to leave because in her mind “burlesque is not theatre” I personally would have to disagree because I’m pretty sure some of the dancers in burlesque venues are acting like they like their customers just as much as actors on television.

Although Rose wanted to leave, they ended up playing a few nights there. The night their residency was over the owner of the club didn’t have a main act to perform a burlesque number. In that moment Rose offered up Louise to do the number. Louise was apprehensive because they only performed child friendly numbers and nothing adult-like.

Louise performed and she did it very well. When she was done, Rose was ready to go but Louise ended up staying and becoming one of the greatest Burlesque dancers of all time.

Rose felt as if Louise deserted her. I could understand but at the same time I had no sympathy for Rose. I mean, you clearly were pretty much pimping out your daughter to be in show-business, and simply because it isn’t the exact kind of show-business you envisioned for her you’re feeling are hurt. It seemed a bit selfish to me.

It was clear that after all these years Rose was busy chasing her dreams of being an actress through her daughters. She was literally living vicariously through them.

Rose ended up all alone in a room by herself. She realized that she was not really a mother but more like a manager who was so pushy.

It’s important that as parents to let your children live their lives with your guidance and trust. It’s important to trust that you’ve taught your children enough to enable them to make the right decisions to live in this world. It’s all about trust and confidence.


Want to see it?

$25 tickets

Gypsy
Gallery Players (in Brooklyn)
thru Oct. 9