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Mame

Description

Who is MAME? Some of Mame’s wild, adventurous spirit is inside everyone who lives for the moment and believes that “life is a banquet!” It’s the height of the 1920’s and Auntie Mame becomes the guardian for her ten-year-old nephew, Patrick. Special songs include Mame, It’s Today, Open a New Window, If He Walked into My Life, We Need a Little Christmas, Bosom Buddies and That’s How Young I Feel. Her life is turned up-side-down, many of her priorities change, but she still lives life to the fullest.

Synopsis

Mame is a happy happening. She is well-to-do, lives in New York at the peak of the 1920′s, and is surprised by a “wonderful present”: an orphan nephew named Patrick.
Now, ten-year-old Patrick needs his aunt, and this is something new for Mame-to be needed. It changes her life. It brings her into sharp conflict with her best friend, Vera Charles, a multi-martini grande dame of the legitimate theatre-for Vera can’t stand children. The man Mame is about to marry is perfectly willing to take on the boy as a bonus, but Mame doesn’t think she’ll have time for marriage-”I’ll be too busy being a mother!”
The boy’s nanny, Agnes Gooch, doesn’t approve of those irrepressible things which go on in Mame’s Beekman Place apartment, and yet she inevitably falls under her spell.
Eye to eye, toe to toe, Mame battles Babcock, the Babbitt-ish banker who wants to make young Patrick the prisoner of the Establishment and put the chains of conformity around him. With the balloon burst of the Depression, it looks as if Babcock is going to have his way. Mame loses all her money, and she loses jobs as quickly as she finds them. (Mame’s gift is giving, not working for hire!) In a brief adventure as a manicurist, she meets Beau-a wealthy scion of the South. He takes Mame to his plantation for the begrudging approval of his family. They are astounded at her exploits on horseback (so is she)! Of course, Beau proposes-in the bouncing title song which sings the praises of Mame!
There’s only one problem as the curtain falls on the first act-young Patrick, who has given her such joy and provided a purpose in her life, smiles bravely. But he’s afraid he has lost his Best Girl.
Act Two rushes headlong into the Thirties. Vera stands by her Bosom Buddy when Mame returns to Beekman Place after Beau’s sudden death. Patrick, now in college, and Mame’s former suitor, Lindsay Woolsey, prompt Mame into writing her memoirs. Gooch has been primed in secretarial school to type up Mame’s pearls of wisdom-but an experiment in a liberated life has a transforming influence on Patrick’s nanny.
And the maturing Patrick seems to be slipping away from Mame’s ideal of freedom. When he declares his engagement to a fatuous blonde “with the IQ of a dead flashlight battery,” Mame is in despair. What did she do wrong? What would she do differently, “If he walked into my life today?”
But the lady’s resources are endless. Just as young Patrick rescued her from the shallow trap of the Twenties, she helps the boy to save himself from a life of Darien drabness and snobbery.
Ingeniously, she foils the Establishment and life goes on, not with Auntie Mame but with Grand Auntie Mame rescuing another youngster from the toils of conformity.
Mame is Eve, St. Joan, Lady Godiva, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Bow and Florence Nightingale. She dances, too, and defies all generation gaps! We have seen hundreds of Auntie Mames and Mames: in each one there seemed to be a flash of something a bit different, a new discovery in the way this remarkable lady thinks, feels, moves.
We’ve had ten plays on Broadway-but somehow MAME is the show we’ve always looked forward to seeing again!

-Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee

Credits

Book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman
Based on the Novel by Patrick Dennis, and the play “AUNTIE MAME” by Lawrence and Lee
Dance and Musical Numbers for the Broadway production staged by Onna White, and Directed by Gene Saks
Produced for the New York Stage by Fryer, Carr & Harris

Orchestration

Full Orchestration

2 Violin I (optional)
1 Violin II (optional)
1 Viola (optional)
1 Cello (optional)
1 Bass and optional Tuba

1 Reed I: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed II: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Alto Saxophone (and optional Flute)
1 Reed III: Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone (and optional Oboe & English Horn)
1 Reed IV: Clarinet and Baritone Saxophone
1 Reed V: Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone

1 Trumpets I & II
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
1 Trombone III

1 Percussion:

Timpani (2 Drums)
Bass Drum
Snare Drum (sticks & brushes)
Tom Tom (2 pitches)
Temple Blocks (4 pitches)
Cymbals (suspended & choke)
Gong
Sleigh Bells
Bells (soft & hard hammers)
Xylophone
Temple Bell (‘C’ chime)
Wood Block
Triangle
Castanets
Tambourine

1 Harp
1 Guitar & Banjo
Piano-Celeste (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with the rehearsal material.)

The MAME orchestration has been arranged to meet the requirements of a small or large orchestra.

The minimum instrumentation for an effective-sounding performance is: Reed I, II, III, IV, 3 Trumpets, 1 Trombone, Bass, Percussion & Piano. Thereafter, instruments should be added in the following order: Reed V, Trombone II, Trombone III, Violin I, Violin II, Cello, Guitar-Banjo, Viola, and lastly, Harp.

Rehearsal Materials

1       Piano Conductor’s Score
1       Prompt Book
3       Prompt Books for Principal Characters
26     Dialogue Parts
36     Chorus-Vocal Parts

Optional Additional Materials

1       Stage Manager’s Guide

Cast List

Principals

(6 female; 5 male)

Mame Dennis
Vera Charles
Agnes Gooch
Mother Burnside
Cousin Fan
Sally Cato
Uncle Jeff
Young Patrick Dennis, age 10
Patrick, age 19–29
Ito
Beauregard J.P. Burnside

Supporting

Ralph Devine
Bishop
M. Lindsay Woolsey
Doorman
Elevator Boy
Messenger
Dwight Babcock
Art Model
Dance Teacher
Leading Man
Stage Manager
Madame Branislowski
Gregor
Junior Babcock
Mrs. Upson
Mr. Upson
Gloria Upson
Pegeen Ryan
Peter Dennis

Ensemble

Mame’s Friends
Male and Female Performers at the Shubert Theatre
Guests at Peckerwood
Guests at Upson Farm

The original Broadway production had a cast of 41 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.

Brief History

MAME played originally for 1508 performances on Broadway at the Winter Garden and Broadway Theatres starring Angela Lansbury, Beatrice Arthur and Frankie Michaels. It played for 443 performances in London at the Drury Lane Theatre. It was revived on Broadway in 1983, again with Angela Lansbury starring as Mame Dennis.

Awards (1966)

3 Tony Awards for Actress, Featured Actress and Featured Actor
2 Theatre world Awards (Jerry Lanning and Sheila Smith [1967])
2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Performances