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If Sondheim wrote the music... 
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Post If Sondheim wrote the music...
It's probably common knowledge by now that Sondheim was originally supposed to write both music and lyrics for GYPSY, but Ethel Merman had just come back from a flop show and wanted a reputable composer for the music, so ultimately Jule Styne was selected. My question is what do you think the show would be like if Sondheim wrote the music? I'm torn on the issue personally. On the one hand, it's an old-timey showbiz musical, and no one wrote old-timey pastiches like Styne. But on the other hand, there are parts of ASSASSINS that make me think that Sondheim had a good enough handle on vaudeville themes. What do you think?

Brian aka Apples2for10

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Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:04 pm
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Post Re: If Sondheim wrote the music...
I'm not sure either, actually. It could have potentially been one of the best scores in the canon, HOWEVER, it could have also compromised what we have today as Laurents' book, which is considered one of the best BOOKS in the canon.

Similarly, I can't decide if it's a PROBLEM that Gypsy can be rehearsed as a play, or a prized ATTRIBUTE. Because with Sondheim's potential score, I doubt that would have been the case, and therefore, the book completely changed. But who knows how that collaboration would have gone down with just him and Arthur.

But either way, you're right: Styne definitely deserves credit. Gypsy possesses several of the MT canon's most famous songs. "Everything's Coming Up Roses", "Let Me Entertain You", "Gotta Get a Gimmick", "Rose's Turn" etc.

I'm honestly stumped!

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