re: MAME in Regional Theaters
Posted by: Michael_Portantiere 05:25 pm EDT 05/05/21
In reply to: re: MAME in Regional Theaters - Jax 03:06 pm EDT 05/05/21

Norah, Gooch, and even Brian O'Bannion are one-dimensional but sharply etched comic characters in AUNTIE MAME. By combining the first two, and eliminating the third, much of their bite and humor is lost in MAME. The unwed mother subplot is not only very much of its time; it's the type of "unpopular" cause Auntie Mame would rally to. The second act of MAME is much flatter without it. Peggy Cass gets a good deal of humor out of Agnes' pregnancy in the film. After all, single motherhood, as we have come to know it, is not a sin, it's a choice.

I disagree with just about every word of that. I don't think anything in lost in combining the roles of Nora and Gooch, and as for O'Bannion, I find him to be an incredibly tiresome and unpleasant character -- so much so that, whenever I watch the movie, I fast forward through all the scenes that involve him. In my opinion, the elimination of that character was one of the smartest decisions made in putting together the musical.

As for your other comment -- wow. Single motherhood is a choice for many women, and not a "sin" in any case, but it is certainly NOT presented as a "choice" for Gooch. Rather, her pregnancy is presented as an accident that occurred while she was drunk, no less, and it's something she definitely does not want. At one point, she even starts crying about the fact that she's going to have an illegitimate child -- or, as she puts it for "comedy" purposes, "a little b$@!(rd."

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