Imelda Staunton picks favorite Sondheim song
You might know that Imelda Staunton (Professor Umbridge) is currently starring in Gypsy, a Stephen Sondheim musical that is due to return to London’s West End this March. In a new interview, Imelda picked her favorite Sondheim song and explained her reasons why.
When people hear Everything’s Coming Up Roses from Gypsy they think it’s quite jolly. But it’s sung by a woman whose daughter, a child star, has just walked out on her. She immediately turns to her second daughter to tell her that no matter what, she will make her a star instead.
Imelda further explains the meaning behind the song lyrics:
The whole way through she says[,] ‘Everything’s coming up roses for me and for you.’ Actually what she really means is ‘me’. It’s always for her because it really is horrendous what she does to this second child. In the lyric ‘We can do it[/]Mama is gonna see to it’, she’s saying, ‘No matter what, I’m going to make sure it happens.’ There’s no room for her daughter to object; there’s no room for manoeuvre. It’s going to happen. The way she sings it, though, suggests ‘I can help you, my darling; all you need is a hand.’
On Sondheim, Imelda says,
Sondheim is like the Shakespeare of the musical world. His stories will live as long as Shakespeare’s because he speaks about people, about emotional difficulties, about the need we all have for love or recognition and to be noticed. They are all human stories that we can relate to. A lot of musicals are about happy things – but his musicals are about the difficult things and people who have difficult lives. His musicals are not sugary; he makes his audiences work and in a way that’s always much more satisfying because you feel like you are part of it in a way.
Gypsy plays in the West End from March 28, 2015. You can find out more about the musical and how to get tickets here.
Are you planning on going to see the musical? Let us know in the comments!