While we’re on the subject of musical lineages for Broadway beltesses:
There’s none as illustrious as Gypsy‘s.
For belters of a certain age, every generation comes up with their own Mama Rose; it’s American theater’s very own Shakespearean (fitting that Sondheim’s involved) rite of passage.
Here are just some of the gals who’ve sung out that iconic turn, a venerable who’s who murderers’ row chronicling modern Broadway history (the Tony Award for Best Musical predates Gypsy by a mere decade):
Ethel Merman (…does Gypsy become Gypsy without Ethel?), Rosalind Russell, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Linda Lavin, Bette Midler, Betty Buckley, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Tovah Feldshuh, Leslie Uggams, Imelda Staunton.
And the almost-happeneds: Elaine Stritch, Babs.
But now, the reason we’re here today:
Who’s on deck?
Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Cynthia Erivo, Taylor Mac, and — though it may be too early to say? — Ariana DeBose.
If you feel compelled to add Lea Michelle’s name to the list, please see yourself out.
And how about a world where Judy Garland played Rose to Liza’s Louise, and then Liza returned to Rose later in life…