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re: MAME in Regional Theaters
Posted by: BroadwayTonyJ 02:35 am EDT 05/05/21
In reply to: re: MAME in Regional Theaters - Michael_Portantiere 09:58 pm EDT 05/04/21

I saw the '58 film probably in the very early 60's (definitely before '62 when I entered high school) on the TV show (in Chicago) The Best of CBS. I immediately fell in love with it and that colors the whole way I look at the musical Mame. For me everything works in the film and the whole thing is very funny, pointed, and touching. Connie Gilchrist as Norah and Peggy Cass as Agnes contribute a lot to the film's success. I just can't see Jane Connell as a warm, wise, and witty grandmotherly type and definitely not as a sexy, bosomy young girl on the brink of becoming a woman (mother and wife).

I bought the OBC LP as soon as it came out in '66. It's an excellent score. It's all Jerry Herman (unlike Dolly's) and it's always been one of my favorites. When the tour of Mame came to Chicago with Celeste Holm, my parents saw it, but I didn't because I was the baby sitter for my younger siblings. I avoided the Mame film because I knew Lucille Ball was too old, couldn't sing the score, and was totally miscast.

When I finally saw a regional production of Mame in '94, I enjoyed it because I finally got to hear the score in its proper context. However, I did miss Norah and the transformation of a frumpy Agnes into an attractive woman, who is sexy enough to entrance the caddish O'Bannion into marrying her and consummating their union with the inevitable result.
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