British stage veteran Imelda Staunton, known for her work in films ranging from the Harry Potter franchise to 2014’s gay-themed Pride, had West End critics swooning last year over her portrayal of overly ambitious stage mom Rose. “One of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen in musical theatre,” raved a critic in The Guardian.
The buzz was so great — culminating in five Olivier Awards, including Best Musical Revival and Best Actress in a Musical — that at one point there was even talk about mounting a Broadway version, with Staunton joining an impressive roster of former Roses: Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters, and Patti LuPone.
Now, PBS is giving everyone the chance to see what all the fuss was about with a Great Performances taping from the record-breaking London run at the Savoy Theatre. With music by Jule Styne and lyrics by a young Stephen Sondheim, Gypsy is inspired by the memoirs of burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee, played in this production by Lara Pulver in another Olivier-winning turn.
Tonight, Friday, Nov. 11, at 9 p.m. on on PBS. Check your local listings at PBS.org.
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