Blame Stephen Sondheim. For those of you who missed the news, Barbra Streisand’s planned remake of the musical Gypsy has bit the dust, at least for now. And it reportedly had Oscar-winning The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper attached.
What happened? Original book writer and rightsholder Arthur Laurents, 93, was going along with the plan, and all was well. But he changed his tune after Sondheim talked him out of it, reports
The Guardian The Hartford Courant:
He recently spoke with the musical’s lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, who asked Laurents why he wanted to allow the film project to happen. “He said, ‘What is the point of it?’ And I said, ‘They have this terrible version with Rosalind Russell wearing those black and white shoes.’ And then Sondheim told me something that he got from the British — and it’s wonderful. He said, ‘You want a record because the theater is ephemeral. But that’s wrong. The theater’s greatest essence is that it is ephemeral. You don’t need a record. The fact that it’s ephemeral means you can have different productions, different Roses on into infinity.’
“So I don’t want it now. I don’t want a definitive record. I want it to stay alive.
“I think [Streisand] is disappointed. She wanted very much to do it. That would have been a good exit for her career. Tom Hooper [“The King’s Speech”] wanted to direct it. I think he’s wonderful.”
How would she have been in the film?
“She could have done it,” he says.