"Academy Award winner Barbra Streisand is currently in negotiations to
star in a new film version of the classic American musical Gypsy, according to the New York Post."
That is what Playbill.com states. Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book of the stage musical Gypsy with Jule Syne (composer) and Stephen Sondheim (lyricist), has been very vocal about Barbra Streisand, actress/singer/producer/director/writer/decorator/composer, joining the cast of a newly planned film of the musical Gypsy as Gypsy Rose Lee's overbearing mother, Rose. "Barbra and I have been getting along very well now for some time.
We've talked about it a lot, and she knows what she's doing. She has my
approval", Laurents told the New York Post. He does on to say: "Barbra and I have had long talks on this very subject. She had a mother who she always thought was Mama Rose. I don't want to
get into the details, but the point is she knows. She's got it in her.
She's going to be much more than people expect." To repeat: they are just in negotiations. There is nothing finite planned.
I think Streisand is a wonder singer and actress, but I still think that playing Rose will be her toughest challenge yet. She hasn't starred in a true musical film adaptation since Funny Girl, and even that role was simple, because it was tailored to her, as she starred in it on Broadway. Her age may betray her also, she is 68-years-old after all, and the stress of tackling a supremely difficult role such as Rose will put her to a test greater than the SAT's. That is another thing against Streisand: she hasn't had the added comfort of playing the role on stage. Patti LuPone, who played Rose in the last Broadway revival of Gypsy, has had quite a history with Streisand stepping on roles that she has played. LuPone, I doubt, will be quite happy with Streisand taking a role that, if not for Streisand, would be hers for the taking. LuPone writes of Streisand in her new memoir, Patti LuPone: A Memoir: "Barbra had been given the chance to cherry-pick the best of the score [of the musical Sunset Boulevard], and put her imprint on the songs that I should have been originating before I was even in rehearsal. And according to the Times, she recorded them in February. What a bunch of crap." I think there is going to be quite a battle between Streisand and LuPone, because as they always say, the third times the charm. Before the Sunset Boulevard scandal, Streisand had done the same thing with a bunch of LuPone songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita. These two divas aren't going to let the "role of a lifetime" in "the greatest Broadway musical ever" go by without a fight, and I think it will start to appear soon. As for Streisand, I stated my feelings. She has a LOT yet to prove if I think she'd be able to play Rose, a role that is a challenge for any actress, be it Ethel Merman, who first played her, or any of the actresses who have starred as her in the past, including: Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bette Midler, Rosalind Russell or Bernadette Peters. The role is a beast, but all said, I think Streisand is up for any challenge.