We want Mamie...Where is Mamie?
She's our kind of a gal, and ooh what luck, cuz here she is! Is everybody ready? Talkin' Broadway's favorite Velma Kelly, Mamie Duncan-Gibbs, will be taking over the leading role in Broadway's Chicago all this week while Ruthie Henshall takes a well deserved rest.
Theatre fans the world over have sung the praises of Mamie's portrayal of Velma Kelly in this red-hot musical. She's saucy, she's sexy, she's sassy and she just nails this role dead on. I've said it before and I'll say it again. She's simply the best Velma Kelly since Chita Rivera created the role in 1975. And that's not to say the other actresses aren't excellent, it's just that Mamie, on stage, is Velma Kelly. Her dancing is spectacular and her singing is first-rate.
Duncan-Gibbs just concluded a run in Las Vegas where she wowed the crowds nightly. Audiences stood and cheered for her Velma. All good things come to an end as Mamie headed back to the New York company, being replaced by Jasmine Guy in the Las Vegas cast shuffle. In New York, Mamie is in the chorus.
And there's just something about this that doesn't ring true. It's almost an old theatre story that is just waiting to happen. You know, the gypsy in the chorus rising to be the star. We theatre-fans see this as being inevitable for the talented Miss Gibbs, but obviously, the producers don't see it yet.
On top of all this, Mamie will be performing with the sensational Sandy Duncan (Roxie). I don't know what your theatre plans are this week, but head on over to the Shubert Theatre where Chicago is on fire again!
Tidbits: The Phantom of the Opera Movie Campaign people created a stir in the UK last week by appearing on a popular morning talk show called The Big Breakfast. They, of course, are campaigning for Michael Crawford to be cast in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. So popular was the guest that she was invited back the following day when who should call in, but Michael Crawford himself. The relentless campaigners have taken numerous full-page ads in Variety and tomorrow on Sept. 13th they strike with another.
Since Marcia Lewis returned to Broadway's Chicago after a 3 month stint in the Las Vegas company she's been one busy gal. On her schedule are the following gigs in addition to appearing nightly as Matron Mama Morton. Sun. Oct 10, Bay Street Theatre Sag Harbor On the Road to Chicago, 7 p.m. $30.00 Mon. Oct. 25, Hilary Clinton Fund Raiser, Ford Center, New York City, singing "Class" with Bebe Neuwirth. Mon. Nov. 8, George Abbott Awards honoring Peter Gennero "East Street" with Gary Beach. Sat, Dec. 1, Noel Coward 100th Birthday at Carnegie Hall singing "Mad About the Boy." In addition, Marcia will be performing her cabaret show at Town Hall during the Cabaret Convention on Saturday, Sept. 25th. She'll do the matinee of Chicago, then run over to Town Hall, do the Cabaret show, then back to the Shubert for the evening performance. I don't know what she's on, but I want some. I'd sure like to have that kind of energy!
Caught an excellent production of Moon Over Buffalo at the Off Broadway Theater in Las Vegas. If you're visiting between now and October 3rd, give it a look-see. It's worth a trip off the Strip.
After all this Las Vegas chit-chat and my ceaseless talk about Chicago both in New York and Las Vegas, you would think I would have been invited to the Press re-opening of the show, but alas the invite didn't come, so I'll head over tonight to check out Hal Linden, Jasmine Guy and Charlotte D'Amboise. We'll have a report for you this week.
I'm a bit overcome with the News that Steven Alper, the theater editor over at Suite101 has re-reviewed Talkin' Broadway. He gave us 3 out of 5 stars in 1996. Now, he gives us 5, plus listing us as being one of the Top 5 theatre websites in the world. After being called "a site to behold" by the New York Daily News in August and the short article in the September eBay Magazine, I've decided to widen the doorways in my home as my head may not fit through!;) A very public thank you to Steven Alper and my 2 cohorts who help produce Talkin' Broadway, Ann Miner and Michael Reynolds, plus our other twenty-some on staff. Alright, everybody, now get back to work.
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