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Gypsy refers to both the Roma and Sinti peoples, and also to a musical play (below). The name is also applied to the gypsy moth, and to the dancers in the chorus of a musical play.

Gypsy: A Musical Fable is a musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. and a book by Arthur Laurents. It is loosely based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and focuses on her struggle with her mother, Mama Rose, whose name has become synonymous with "the ultimate show business mother." It contains many songs that became popular standards, including "Small World," "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "You'll Never Get Away from Me," and "Let Me Entertain You."

The original staging, produced by David Merrick, opened on May 21, 1959 and starred Ethel Merman and Jack Klugman, with Sandra Church in the title role. Choreography was by Jerome Robbins.

In 1962, Warner Bros. released a film version, starring, respectively, Rosalind Russell, Karl Malden, and Natalie Wood. Lisa Kirk dubbed Rosalind Russell's singing voice.

The musical has been revived three times on Broadway, running from 1974-1975 with Angela Lansbury as Rose, from 1989-1991 with Tyne Daly initially as Rose, later replaced by Linda Lavin, and most recently in 2003 with Bernadette Peters.

The musical was also adapted as a television movie in 1993 with Bette Midler playing Rose.

A 1998 production featuring Betty Buckley and Debbie Gibson at the Paper Mill Playhouse never made it to Broadway, but became a subject of some notoriety in the theatre community when e-mails from an anonymous cast member detailing the backstage behaviour of the stars became public. The author was eventually revealed as John Flynn, who has now done several New York stagings of his cabaret act (with parodies of Gypsy songs), Dances with Pitchforks, based on his experiences portraying non-Equity Farmboy 5.

External links: Patrin: Romani Culture and History