Ebersole Replaces Smart in All-Star Mame Concert

News   Ebersole Replaces Smart in All-Star Mame Concert Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole will play Mame's boozy friend, Vera Charles, in the all-star Mame concert at the Hollywood Bowl.
Christine Ebersole
Christine Ebersole Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Ebersole replaces the previously announced Jean Smart in the Aug. 1 concert at the famed outdoor theatre. Ebersole has a history with the Jerry Herman musical, having played the title role at the Paper Mill Playhouse.

The lead role at the Bowl, however, will be played by former "Knots Landing" actress Michele Lee with John Schneider as Beauregard Jackson Picket Burnside, Allyce Beasley as Agnes Gooch, Ben Platt as Patrick Dennis (age 10), Eric Sorenson as Patrick Dennis (age 19-29), Fred Willard as M. Lindsay Woosley, Michael Lee as Ito, Robert Picardo as Dwight Babcock, Lauri Johnson as Madame Branislowski/Mrs. Burnside, Cliff Bemis as Uncle Jeff, Monica Lee Gradischek as Cousin Fan, Tracy Powell as Sally Cato, Richard Israel as Junior Babcock, Susan Sullivan as Mrs. Upson, Alan Thicke as Mr. Upson, Jennifer Hall as Gloria Upson, Jessica Lindsey as Pegeen Ryan and the Mitch Hanlon Singers. The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra will be conducted by John Mauceri; show time is 7:30 PM.

The concert version of the Jerry Herman musical about the free-spirited Mame Dennis, her friend Vera Charles and her young nephew, Patrick will feature direction by Gordon Hunt and choreography by Kay Cole. The remainder of the creative team comprises Bradley Kaye (scenic design), Teresa Hanrahan (prop coordination), Casey Cowan (lighting design) and Lisa Ann Hill (costume design).

Mame, based on Patrick Dennis' novel "Auntie Mame," features a score by Jerry Herman and a book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. The original Broadway production opened in May 1966 at the Winter Garden Theatre with Angela Lansbury as Mame and Bea Arthur as Vera Charles. Both Lansbury and Arthur won Tony Awards for their work. A subsequent film version cast Lucille Ball as the vivacious Mame. The classic Herman score includes such tunes as "If He Walked Into My Life," "It's Today," "Open a New Window," "Mame," "Bosom Buddies" and "We Need a Little Christmas."

Most recently in Talking Heads at the Minetta Lane Theatre, Christine Ebersole received a 2003 Tony nomination for her performance in Lincoln Center’s recent production of Dinner at Eight. She also received a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her work as Dorothy Brock in the hit revival of 42nd Street. Ebersole’s other Broadway credits include The Best Man, Getting Away with Murder, Harrigan 'n Hart, Camelot, Oklahoma!, On the Twentieth Century, I Love My Wife, Angel Street and the City Center Encores! productions of A Connecticut Yankee, Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, Lady in the Dark and Allegro. The Hollywood Bowl is located at 2301 Highland Avenue in Hollywood, CA. Tickets for Mame are available by calling (323) 850-2000. Go to www.hollywoodbowl.org for more information.