With Tyne Daly in the 1989 revival of Gypsy, the defining moment between star and director happened, not in her dressing room, but in the rehearsal room. From the first day of rehearsal, it was apparent she and I were headed for that Showdown at the OK Corral.
I liked her from our first meeting, which was at her audition on the stage of the Imperial Theatre. She had an irresistible smile, a lust for life in the theatre—and great legs. I was surprised how well she sang; the timbre of her voice was oddly similar to Ethel’s. This Rose could be sexual, a motor I could use to drive the whole production. From what I had seen of her work, I assumed she was a good actress—perhaps a questionable assumption, since I’d only seen her on TV. She’d begun in the theatre, though, and came from a theatrical family. As it turned out, my assumption was justified: she was a very good actress—a stubborn one, but a damn good one.
Watch a Video Interview with Arthur Laurents: