Last on Broadway in Kiss of the Spider Woman, Carol Lawrence will play a far more benevolent character when she arrives at Nyack, NY’s Helen Hayes Center, June 17-July 9, to star in Mame. The Jerry Herman musical, about an auntie filled with joie de vivre -- despite some bad luck keeping her lovers alive -- will be directed by Norb Joerder.
Mame, which has a book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, based on their hit play adaptation of Patrick Dennis' novel, "Auntie Mame," opened May 24, 1966, at the Winter Garden Theatre, where it ran 1,508 performances. Angela Lansbury and Beatrice Arthur were its original stars. A revival 15 years ago on Broadway starred Lansbury but quickly folded.
Herman, who has often called the score one of his favorites, penned such tunes for it as "Mame," "We Need A Little Christmas," "Bosom Buddies," "If He Walked Into My Life" and "Open a New Window."
Actress Lawrence, the original Maria in West Side Story, also starred in the original tours of Funny Girl and Sugar Babies. Further casting for Mame is expected shortly.
* Currently at the Hayes Center is King Levine, Richard Krevolin's take on the King Lear story, which finishes its three-week run April 22.
Finishing the season at the Hayes Center will be Shirley Valentine, with “M*A*S*H” star Loretta Swit, April 29-May 20, officially opening May 4. The show, supervised by Ronald L. Nash, takes the place of previously-announced Driving Miss Daisy.
For information on shows at the Helen Hayes performing Arts Center call (914) 358-6333.
-- By David Lefkowitz