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re: I enjoyed CALL ME MADAM
Posted by: JereNYC (JereNYC@aol.com) 02:29 pm EST 02/11/19
In reply to: I enjoyed CALL ME MADAM - TheHarveyBoy 06:10 pm EST 02/09/19

Here's the issue with Cusack's performance as I saw it...Carmen Cusack seemed to approach the role of Mrs. Sally Adams as an actress, as might be appropriate in most musical theatre pieces, especially contemporary ones. But this role doesn't require acting so much as it requires a big personality who can just belt those numbers over the footlights. There's just not enough in the writing, as least as adapted for the Encores! production, to justify "acting." There's not much for an actor to play in any of the roles, but especially Mrs. Sally Adams.

This is another show that I would love to see re-examines by contemporary writers (KISS ME KATE is the other that I've written about here before). CALL ME MADAM is a very post-WWII kind of show and the main story about will the US loan a big package of money to Lichtenberg is very much of it's time period. But I wonder, if a team of contemporary writers took on this basic story and basic characters, who would these characters be in the 21st Century and what issues might a current Mrs. Sally Adams be dealing with as Ambassador to a tiny European nation. We still see Ambassadors who come from the world of political patronage, rather that career diplomacy, so it's not out of the realm that, for example, Donald Trump might appoint Roseanne Barr as an Ambassador. So what does that look like in 2019?

One another note...I found it interesting that Sally used the word "schmooze" with the foreign minister of a Germanic country in this very much post-WWII environment. I don't find it odd that Oklahoma-born Sally knows that word, considering that she must meet people from all backgrounds in her "work" as a fundraiser and hostess. But to use a Yiddish word in this context brought me right out of fictional Lichtenberg and right into what might have been happening in a real Lichtenberg less than 10 years prior to the events of the show. Cosmo didn't react to it at all, which is also odd...I would have expected some kind of reaction there. Much is made of Sally's general lack of traditional protocol, but this one specifically struck me as a bit tone deaf.
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