Sunday, May 8, 2011

In Memoriam: Arthur Laurents 1917-2011

Playwright. Screenwriter. Librettist. Home of the Brave. Rope. The Snake Pit(uncredited). Anastasia. West Side Story. Gypsy. The Way We Were. The Turning Point.

"I love to write and I had something to say."

Action: What the hell's a matter with you?
Snowboy: I got caught sneakin' outa the movies.
A-rab: Sneakin' out? Whaddya do that for?
Snowboy: I sneaked in.

--West Side Story

Rose: [uber-stage mother--KJ] Just wanted to be noticed.
Louise aka Gypsy Rose Lee: [Rose's daughter] Like I wanted you to notice me.



  1. I'm being selective about the topics covered in your post. I'm not learned about her, but Gypsy Rose Lee reminds me of a breed of truly tough broads of a certain era, pretty packages enclosing broken, shattered, hard, brittle people who should have been sterilized to protect their prospective children. Joan Crawford comes to mind.

    Trivia: she's buried where my Granny, Gramps, blind Great Uncle Ralph and poor, blind, drunken Martha are buried in Inglewood Park. On a busy 4th of July in 2006, I was taken to the cemetery to see if I could find my Granny. The park nearby was overflowing with humanity, and picnickers were stuffing themselves while sitting on the graves. I never found Granny and the cemetery office was closed for the holiday. Maybe just as well for me. I wouldn't want Granny to be serving as a picnic table. Nor would I want her learning to umm . . dance from Gypsy Rose Lee.

  2. Quite a list accomplishments to his credit. I'm sure he was well known and regarded in the theater community though I seldom got down to the writers even in the opening credits.

  3. I know the name and the movies... gosh I am old :)

    love the lines you posted especially the one from Gypsy Rose Lee.

    cheers, parsnip

  4. @Leslie--You forced me to investigate whether Gypsy Rose Lee had children or not. She had one son, Erik, whose father was the movie director Otto Preminger. Erik didn't find out about his paternity until he was an adult, probably because his mother was married to someone else when he was born. Anyway, Gypsy is not really the main character in the musical that bears her name. That would be her mother Rose, who, according to the play, had such a maniacal desire to be in show biz, she pushed both her daughters (the other being the actress June Havoc) to perform at a very young age. By the end of the play (and movie, which is what I've actually seen) it's the mother who's broken, shattered, hard, and brittle (reminds me of what Halloween candy is like after about a week.)

    @Tag--"Audiences don't know somebody sits down and writes a picture [or play]; they think the actors make it up as they go along."

    --Sunset Boulevard.

    @parsnip--You don't have to feel old, parsnip. Those two musicals are revived all the time. I'm sure even Justin Bieber has heard from them.

  5. That's Justin Beiber has heard OF them.


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