Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Is Gyspy the Biggest Risk Ever for Barbra?

Recently, there was a discussion on the Barbra News message board about whether or not Gypsy is a big gamble for Barbra. The overwhelming votes, based on the comments, is that YES, Barbra is risking a lot by taking on the role of Mama Rose at this point in her career. You can read some of the comments here.
   I don't think it is a risk, and I'll tell you why: Barbra Streisand's built a 50 year legacy of accomplishment that's unmatched by anybody else in the business. Nobody's done what she's done. There is nobody you can name, however great or brilliant, who's achieved like she has?
     Remember that HuffPost editorial recently? That writer talked about Barbra's career thus far, pointing out that Sinatra never won an Oscar for composing, Garland never directed a film, Madonna has no grand slam of awards, Minnelli can't sell out an arena in 10 minutes, Elvis never wrote a book… Streisand has reached for the stars and gathered them up like diamonds! She's the ultimate superstar who is nonpareil, without equal.
     She's now choosing to play one of the most iconic roles in the history of American musical theater. If she succeeds, it's yet another feather in her cap. If, for whatever reason, it's not amazing, glorious and universally hailed as the greatest musical of all time, Barbra will be all right. She'll have made the picture she wanted to make and played Rose as she wanted to play her. And, chances are, her loyal audience (us), will still support the film and her.
     So, what can she lose? Will the fate of Gypsy change the greatness of Funny Girl? The enduring brilliance of Yentl? The beloved memories of The Way We Were? Will her CDs cease being treasures that we can listen to time and again and never grow tired of?
     In my opinion, Barbra can't lose with Gypsy. It's poised to be a crowning achievement -- the bookend success that Barbra envisions. To me, the deck is stacked in her favor. Let's deal the cards and play the hand because Barbra's not about to fold and walk away from the table!  Am I right or just a fan with rose-colored glasses?

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