In January, Musical Cyberspace is going to work through a chain of musicals. This is how it works: each day I will discuss, in brief, a musical linked to the previous day’s musical by some kind of common ground. It follows then, that if you – dear reader – liked the previous day’s show, then you might enjoy the current day’s show. Comments, as alway, are welcome!
If you like Gypsy, then you might like Mame.
Like Gypsy, Mame revolves around a strong, iconic female character, both of whom have been played to great effect by Angela Lansbury. In fact, it’s a movie musical tragedy that Angela Lansbury was passed over for the film version of Mame, a role she originated on stage.
Mame tells the story of eccentric madcap, Mame Dennis, whose nephew, Patrick, is left to her care. Life and love and friendship are never sacrificed by Mame and her passion sees her and Patrick through the Depression with great style. Will there be an emotional price-tag on her way of life? That’s the question Mame will have to face as little Patrick grows up and becomes a man. Highlights include “It’s Today”, “Bosom Buddies”, “We Need a Little Christmas”, “If He Walked Into My Life” and “Mame”.
Mame is a typical Jerry Herman show with catchy tunes and a pathos-filled 11 o’clock number for the leading lady. Let’s face it, Jerry Herman has spent his whole career writing 1920s-style star vehicles for women (with the exception of La Cage aux Folles, although that is a neat little inversion of his formula) and Mame is an infectiously bubbly show, although I prefer Herman’s score for Hello, Dolly!. We haven’t really seen an excellent Broadway revival of the show since the flop revival the show in the 1980s, although Christine Baranski earned good reviews in a production at the Kennedy Center in 2006. Perhaps its time to dust off this musical; it’s surely more preferable than making new jukebox musicals out of old Gershwin tunes, cf. the upcoming Nice Work if You Can Get It.
So, now it’s time to share your thoughts on Mame. And what shows would you suggest to fans of this show? See which one we’ll feature here tomorrow…