Picks and Pans Review: Gypsy

updated 06/11/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/11/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Revival Cast

If there is one flaw in Tyne Daly's ferocious portrayal of Mama Rose in the current revival—and this is the only flaw—it's the weakness of her singing voice. Sometimes when she maneuvers through the difficult Jule Styne-Sondheim score, it sounds like everything is coming up noses.

The role of Rose may have been sung better in the past—Ethel Merman and Angela Lansbury both won Tony nominations for previous productions of this fictionalized biography of Gypsy Rose Lee—but the part has never been acted with such intensity.

Sensational acting doesn't always translate to recordings. Still, the show's musical highlights, "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "Rose's Turn," are in effect dramatic monologues disguised as showstoppers, as Daly's delivery of both makes clear.

Musical highlights include Robert Lambert's engaging "All I Need Is the Girl." As Louise, target of Rose's ire and love, Crista Moore has a likable voice, though her schoolgirl-to-stripper transition is more bumpy than convincing bump-and-grind.

For those who have seen Daly in Gypsy, this album is a souvenir of a terrific night in the theater. For anybody else, it's a mixed experience. (Electra/Nonesuch)

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