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Stephen Sondheim Convinces Arthur Laurents to Scrap Barbra Streisand Remake of Gypsy

Stephen Sondheim Convinces Arthur Laurents to Scrap Barbra Streisand Remake of Gypsy
Barbra Streisand
'I don't want a definitive record. I want it to stay alive,' says Arthur Laurents about 'Gypsy' on film.

The previously announced film remake of Gypsy, starring Oscar winner Barbra Streisand as Rose, is no longer in the works, librettist Arthur Laurents told the Hartford Courant. Laurents, who directed three Broadway revivals of the show, explains his decision is "for a really fascinating reason much bigger than Gypsy."

Laurents recalls chatting with the musical's lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, who asked Laurents why he wanted another film version of the show (following the 1962 movie adaptation starring Rosalind Russell and a 1992 TV movie starring Bette Midler). Paraphrasing the conversation Laurents said Sondheim asked, "What is the point of it? You want a record because the theater is ephermeral. But that's wrong. The theater's greatest essence is that it is ephemeral. You don't need a record. The fact that it's ephemeral means you can have different productions, different Roses on into infinity." Laurents then added, "So I don't want it now. I don't want a definitive record. I want it to stay alive."

Commenting on Streisand's reaction to his decision, Laurents said, "I think [she] is disappointed. She wanted very much to do it. That would have been a good exit for her career." Laurents also revealed that recent The King's Speech's Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper was in talks to helm the project.

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