Belfast Telegraph

Streisand takes mother of all roles

Barbra Streisand is to step into her first musical role in almost three decades in the Gypsy remake, it has been confirmed.

The Oscar-winning songstress is set to portray pushy stage mum Momma Rose in the big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents' Tony Award winning musical - her first musical film since 1983's Yentl, which she starred, produced, co-wrote and directed.

Award-winning Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes will be writing the screenplay for the film, which is being backed by Universal and produced by Joel Silver, reported Deadline.

The singer-actress had previously already met with the musical's creator Laurents and lyricist Sondheim, it was revealed in January 2011, to talk about starring in the new film.

Laurents told the New York Times that Barbra had been interested in doing Gypsy for many years, "but now things are serious and a movie is truly in the works - playing Rose is enough to make her happy".

Asked if the 69-year-old star was too old to play Rose, who is a young mother in the first act of the musical, he added: "First of all, they can do magic in Hollywood. Second, does it really matter?"

Originally a Broadway musical, based on burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee's memoir, Gypsy was turned into a film in 1962 starring Rosalind Russell as Rose. It was also adapted for a TV movie in 1993, with Bette Midler winning a Golden Globe for her performance.

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