Following on from the success of West Side Story, Stephen Sondheim collaborated with the composer Jule Styne to create this musical based upon the life of 1930s burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee. It paved the way for several raunchier musicals in the 1960s including Cabaret (1966) and Sweet Charity (1968) however taking into account its subject matter it was itself a rather chaste production which focussed on the relationship between a pushy show biz mother, played to the hilt as always by Ethel Merman, and her offspring. The original 1959 Broadway production ran for more than 700 performances and was nominated for eight Tony Awards. The show lost out for the Tony Award for Best Musical to joint winners The Sound of Music and the largely forgotten Fiorello! Merman was replaced for the 1962 film version by Rosalind Russell, so buy this if you want to hear the score performed by the person for whom it was written.