About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


So Lisa, what do you think of Gypsy from your personal experience with it?  Did your 12-year old self like the musical?  Do you think back on it otherwise?

Jeri Westerson's Veil of Lies continues to chug away in Boston, another 19 copies the week ending the 21st according to Nielsen Bookscan.  That Globe review is really a gift that keeps on giving. 

1 comment:

Lisa Iriarte said...

Gypsy, hmm. I remember as a twelve-year-old finding it incredibly risque. (I was a very sheltered twelve-year-old). I recall enjoying the music and the story, although I didn't much like either of the girls, June or Louise. June, I felt, was annoyingly ditsy. Now, granted, this was likely overshadowed by the fact that my biggest rival had gotten the part of young June, and I had wanted to play young Louise and didn't get cast in that part.

As for Louise, I sympathized with her having an overbearing mother, but couldn't quite accept her choice of career directions into burlesque (as the prudish twelve-year-old that I was.)

I believe that our preferences in musicals (and plays, and literature for that matter) are rooted in our personal experiences with them and our experiences prior to our exposure to them.

Since Gypsy, I went on to take eight years of opera lessons, and majored in voice before switching to creative writing for my degree. I've performed in dozens of operas, operettas, musicals, and plays. And my favorites are as much based on my love of the music or story as on the particular role I played or the other members of the cast. For example, I think the most enjoyable time I had performing in a musical would be playing Grandmother Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof. It was a small part, but suited to my quirky nature, fun to play, and a real crowd-pleaser.

On the other hand, for seeing musicals, I especially loved Starlight Express. Now, I know this is not considered a "great" musical by most people's standards, but I saw it with friends, in London, in the original theater with the built-in skating tracks, in the tenth row. It blew me away. But it was the circumstances, not the story.

I enjoy your reviews because you tend to give not only details about the shows, but the theaters, the row, the ticket cost, the snacks. Clearly, the entire experience plays a bit part in your enjoyment as well.