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re: MAME in Regional Theaters
Posted by: Michael_Portantiere 11:52 pm EDT 05/05/21
In reply to: re: MAME in Regional Theaters - BroadwayTonyJ 09:29 pm EDT 05/05/21

In many ways Norah Muldoon is the heart and soul of the story. She certainly has been Patrick's surrogate mother before his father's death and the one person Patrick can go to for comfort and assurance when Mame occasionally is dismissive toward him. After Mame gets fired from Midnight Madness, she is totally incompetent at several jobs during the 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's Norah who saves the day (together with Ito) by using their savings to pay Mame's household bills until Beau comes into the picture. Mame initially is a little distant toward Beau and hesitant toward accepting his invitation to take them all out to dinner. When he exits to tell the cab driver to wait, it's Norah who exclaims to Mame "Grab him quick before he gets away."

Yes, and all of that is done and said by Gooch in the musical. I don't understand why it makes such a big difference to you whether those functions are fulfilled by a 50-something woman with an Irish accent or a prim, mousy, introverted nanny in her 30s.

The story loses too much heart in the musical by having Gooch absorb Norah's role.

I strongly disagree. I don't think it loses any heart at all, and the combination of two characters into one streamlines a play/movie that really has more characters than it needs.

If Lawrence and Lee were dead set on eliminating characters to lower expenses, they could have the actress who plays Norah double as Mrs. Burnside since in the film both characters are close in age. They could also have the actress who plays Sally Cato double as Gooch (both of whom could be in their late 20's). That way they could have afforded to keep O'Bannion, who is a very colorful character in the film.

I don't find O'Bannion colorful, I find him a complete bore, a witless creation.

The film definitely does not laugh at Gooch's pregnancy. Mame, Norah, and Ito all give her support.

Gosh. Differences of opinion and interpretation are one thing, but how you can state that the film of AUNTIE MAME does not treat Gooch's pregnancy for comic effect is truly beyond me. I would suggest you watch the film again if you didn't begin your post by saying you just did so.
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