Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The life story of burlesque stripper Gypsy Rose Lee did not seem a likely candidate for musicalization, especially in a Golden Age of musical theatre that had its feet planted firmly on an optimistic terrain. When Lee published her 1957 autobiography most expected a standard memoir of affairs and anecdotes, but readers were taken aback by the accounts she shared of her mother, Rose, a monstrous stage parent who pushed Lee into the erotic world of burlesque in order to get notoriety. Prior to Gypsy, it would be impossible to find comparisons between musical theatre characters and the complex roles drama had been giving the world for centuries, much less even think of the word subtext, which became the hot button word with every Method actor of the 1950s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFifty Key Stage Musicals
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781000555134
ISBN (Print)9781003009726
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities

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