Dreams of your own
The classic American musical Gypsy with music by Julie Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, is a story that proves you can only achieve your own dreams and cannot achieve dreams for others. The relationship between Rose and her children involves Rose pushing her own personal dreams she never achieved, on her daughters, and results in a failure of accomplishment and relationship, and therefore proves this point.
We learn a lot about Rose’s personality in her first number of the musical, “Some People”. This is a song about how Rose does not want an ordinary life for herself. Rose sings, “Some people sit on their butts; got the dream, yeah, but not the guts. That’s living for some people…but not Rose!” Realizing this, the audience soon comes to find out how this attitude of hers is pushed towards her daughters in performing. She wants all the talent and fame that she never had for herself, for her daughters. For example, Rose tries to set up Louise and June with an agent by the name of Herbie which she ultimately fails at. However, soon enough as audience members, we see the true opinions of young Louise and June in a song called, “If Mamma was married”. Just the title is enough to say these girl want their mother out of their hair. June sings, “If Momma was married, I’d jump in the air, and give all my toe shoes to you, I’d get all those hair ribbons, Out of my hair, and once and for all, I’d get Momma out too…” June admits to not having the same dreams and desires as her mother has. The lyrics she sings show that not only has her mother gone too far, she has also destroyed her and her daughter’s relationship in the process of trying to accomplish dreams for them. By the end of Act 1 June finally makes a statement and explains to her mother she is sick and tired of her and the all the tours and performing she has put her through. She will run away and get marry and create and conquer dreams of her own which becomes a lot more successful for her, than her mother’s persuasion would ever be.
Rose’s relationship with her other daughter Louise proves to be just as chaotic. Rose ends up accidently booking Louise in a Burlesque house performance, one of which was not in her plan! However, Louise decides to ignore the advice from her mother and make money off the gig, despite ruining her mother’s dreams for her. In the end, Louise becomes a major burlesque star and no longer needs so called, “help” from her mother.
In the end, both June and Louise are able to branch off from their mother when their relationship begins to deteriorate due to their mother pushing her dream on them. It may be sad that Rose’s own personal goals never worked out for her, but influencing them too much on her daughters made nothing better. When it comes to achievement and success a little help from others can be beneficial, but the ultimate driver needs to be yourself. Gypsy is a story that proves the point: only you have the ability to know what you want and know that you can be willing to get it.
copyright: Carly Ristuccia