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Playbill

Mame

Book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee : Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman
Based on the novel by Patrick Dennis and the play, Auntie Mame by Lawrence and Lee
Dance and Musical numbers for the Broadway production staged by Onna White, and Directed by Gene Saks: Produced for the New York Stage by Fryer, Carr & Harris.

Winter Gardens Theatre, Broadway - May 24, 1966 (1508 perfs)
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane - 20 February, 1969 (443 perfs)

Synopsis

Who is Mame? There's surely one in every community, often there's one in every family. Some of the wild, exploratory spirit of Mame bubbles in each and every human being who believes that "life is a banquet!"

Mame is Eve, St. Joan, Lady Godiva, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Bow and Florence Nightingale, all rolled into one. She epitomises optimism, the power of positive -thought and sheer joie-de-vivre, and projects them to everyone that meets her, influencing and improving the lives of them all. She is ageless, timeless, graceful, beautiful, kind and elegant. She dances, too, and cuts across all barriers, whether of age, colour; creed or gender. We have all seen hundreds of Auntie Mames and in each and every one, there seemed to be a flash of something a bit different, a new discovery in the way that this particular remarkable lady thinks, feels and moves.

Musically the show is packed with Jerry Herman songs that are in perfect accord with the whole positive attitude of the story, and includes what is probably the most memorable title song ever written.

Story:

Agnes Gooch brings young Patrick Dennis from a farm in Des Moines to his only living relative, Mame Dennis. This notorious Auntie Mame is a swinger; a vogue-following, high-living friend to everyone. Knowledge, love, and the stock market are her dearest possessions.

She is overjoyed with Patrick. Unfortunately her authority over him is shared with Dwight Babcock, a trustee for the Knickerbocker Bank. They clash on schooling, but Patrick's father's will spells out a conservative education. Babcock wins, but Mame is busy opening exciting windows for Patrick behind Babcock's back. Babcock catches Patrick enrolled in Ralph Devine's Laboratory of Life - a foreward thinking establishment. This is hardly a conservative education as stipulated in the will and so he packs Patrick away to boarding school.

To add to her problems, the stock market has crashed and Mame must attempt the only thing in the world for which she is unsuited - work. She gets a job in the theatre in the show that her friend is starring in. Howevr, she upstages her actress-friend, Vera Charles, and is fired.

Jobs come easy - but go just as fast. Mame is so broke the servants have paid the bills with their rainy-day money. Suddenly Santa Claus appears in the person of Beauregard Jackson Picket Burnside. It is obvious that he and Mame are a born pair. The proposal comes fast, but Mame must meet his Southern relatives.

As a prospective Yankee in the family, her reception is not the warmest. Especially from Sally Cato, who has been engaged to Beau since grammar school. Sally gets Mame to agree to go to a hunt and which has been designed to make a fool of her. But the plot backfires. Mame captures the fox alive and wins the respect of all. She and Beau are married and depart for an around-theworld honeymoon.

Patrick is now in college and is pursuing love interests of his own.

Several years into the honeymoon Beau slips from the Matterhorn and is killed. Mame returns to her old friends and is persuaded to write her memoirs.

During her absence Patrick has joined Junior Babcock's circle of friends and is engaged to Gloria Upson. Mame is invited to the country to meet the family, plus their kitsch taste and public prejudices. The Upsons have everything planned, including a buy-up of the unrestricted land next to theirs on which the kids will build a house and thereby keep away the riff-raff. Mame is stunned and asks Patrick how he can put up with such bigotry. Unkind words are aired, and both are hurt. However, Mame has designed an engagement party of her own. The Upsons and Babcock arrive and the event is typical Mame. Her friends drop in, leaving the guests aghast. Pregnant Agnes shows up and admits she's not married. Mame uses the shocked silence to announce that she has purchased the country homesite to establish the Burnside Memorial Home for Single Mothers. The guests storm out. Their poor behaviour is enough for Patrick to realize his mistakes. He and Mame are reunited.

Decorator Pegeen Ryan, who has been putting the final touches on Mame's apartment during the progress of the party, has caught Patrick's eye. As Mame had suspected, they make a perfect couple and at curtain she's off to India with Stephen, their 10-year old son, to help him open the windows of the world!

CAST:

Male - 10: Female - 11: Plus Chorus & Dancers

Mame - accomplished actress, good strong voice, dances well
Patrick - aged 10, large part, sings
Ito - Chinese servant boy, sings one number
Babcock -good character man
Vera Charles - character actress, sings and dances
Agnes - comedienne, sings
Adult Patrick - handsome, legit voice
Beau - accomplished actor who sings well

Devine, Woolsey, Sally Cato, Babcock Jr, Mr & Mrs Upson, Gloria and Peegan Ryan - all straight roles.

Strong choral work.

Large separate singing and dancing ensembles.

Total cast - 40 - 60.

Musical Numbers:

  1. St Bridget - Agnes
  2. It's Today - Mame and Ensemble
  3. Open A New Window - Mame and Ensemble
  4. The Moon Song - Vera and Girls
  5. My Best Girl - Patrick and Mame
  6. We Need a Little Christmas - Mame, Agnes, Ito and Patrick
  7. The Fox Hunt - Uncle Jeff, Cousin Fan & ensmble
  8. Mame - Beau and Ensemble
  9. Bosom Buddies - Mame and Vera
  10. Gooch's Song - Agnes
  11. That's How Young I Feel - Mame and Ensemble
  12. If He Walked Into My Life - Mame

Orchestration

Reed l, 2, 3, 4 & 5: Trumpet 1,2 & 3: Trombone 1,2&3: Percussion: Harp: Bass: Violin 1 & 2: Viola: Cello: Guitar & Banjo: Piano-Celeste

Listen to the Music (You will need to have Real Player installed and Java Script enabled - Real Player can be downloaded from here also)