Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Here She Is, Boys
Yes, friends, our latest Mystery Guest was our favorite ecdysiast, Gypsy Rose Lee. Gypsy was perhaps even better known for her glamour and her lavish Parisian costumes than she was for taking them off; so it comes as no surprise that the first to guess was that international glamour boy himself, Muscato.
The former Rose Louise Hovick was the first to admit that she couldn't really dance, couldn't really sing, couldn't really act, and was more striking than pretty; but, as the song goes, she had a gimmick - as well as charm, wit and charisma to burn. Besides becoming the undisputed Queen of Burlesque, Gypsy starred in films (Babes in Baghdad, anyone?), had her own television chat show, and, of course, authored not only two well-received comic mystery novels, but her legendary memoirs.
The subsequent Broadway musical, starring Ethel Merman as Gypsy's sympathetic monster of a mother, Mama Rose, assured Gypsy Rose Lee immortality. Of course, both the book and the musical (and the eventual film version, with Roz Russell as Mama Rose and Natalie Wood as Gypsy) were factual accounts in name only; but the essence of the characters rang true. As John Steinbeck said of the book, "I bet some of it is even true, and if it wasn't, it is now."