Monday, May 9, 2011

FROM STAGE TO SCREEN … MAME

 

Mame (1966)

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Music & lyrics by Jerry Herman;

Book by Robert E. Lee & Jerome Lawrence, based on their play Auntie Mame, adapted from the novel by Patrick Dennis.

SONGS: “It’s Today,” “Open a New Window,” “My Best Girl,” “We Need a Little Christmas,” “Mame,” “Bosom Buddies,” “If He Walked into My Life.”

NEW YORK: May 24, 1966

WINTER GARDEN THEATRE; 1,508 performances.

CAsT: Angela Lansbury (Mame Dennis Burnside), Beatrice Arthur (Vera Charles), Jane Connell (Agnes Gooch), Willard Waterman (Dwight Babcock), Frankie Michaels (Patrick Dennis), Charles Braswell (Beauregard Burnside), Jerry Lanning (Patrick Dennis).

LONDON: Feb. 20, 1969

DRURY LANE THEATRE; 443 performances.

CAST: included Ginger Rogers (Mame Dennis Burnside), Margaret Courtenay (Vera Charles), Ann Beach (Agnes Gooch)

Though Mame was based on the play Auntie Mama, its madcap heroine and Jerry Herman score made it something of a successor to Hello,Dolly!

The story traces Mame’s life— mostly in and around New York—from 1928 to 1946, and it relates how the unconventional, hedonistic lady raises a nephew, weds a courtly southerner who is killed on their honeymoon, and ends up making sure that the nephew marries the right girl.

Mame, which was originally announced under the title My Best Girl, was to have starred Mary Martin. Eventually, Angela Lansbury beat out over 40 other actresses for the title role. During the Broadway run, she was succeeded by Janis Paige (4-68), Jane Morgan (12-68), and Ann Miller (5- 69). Beatrice Arthur was succeeded by Anne Francine (7-67) and Audrey Christie (4-68)

In Aug. 1967, Celeste Holm (Mame), Vicki Cummings (Vera), and Wesley Addy (Babcock) began a road tour that continued for 10 months. A second road company, with Miss Lansbury, Miss Francine, and Miss Connell, toured four months after opening in April 1968. A third company headed by Susan Hayward, played Las Vegas for four months. A fourth company, which began its tour Jan. 1969, travelled for five months with Janet Blair (Mame) and Elaine Stritch (Vera).

Mame (1974)

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Warner Bros., 1974

Color, 132 minutes
Producers: James Creeson and Robert Fryer
Director: Gene Saks
Screenplay: Paul Zindel
Music Directors: Ralph Burns and Billy Byers
Song Score: Jerry Herman
Choreography: Martin Allen and Onna White
Set Decoration: Marvin March
Costume Design: Theadora Van Runkle

Cast:

Lucille Ball (Mame Dennis),
Bea Arthur (Vera Charles),
Kirby Furlong (Young Patrick),
Bruce Davidson (Old Patrick),
Robert Preston (Beauregard),
Jane Connell (Agnes Gooch)

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SOUNDTRACK

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1 Main Title / St. Bridget
2 It's Today
3 Open a New Window
4 Man in the Moon
5 My Best Girl
6 We Need a Little Christmas
7 Mame
8 Loving You
9 Letter
10 Bosom Buddies
11 Gooch's Song
12 If He Walked into My Life
13 Finale

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