Kennedy Center Mame May Be Headed to Broadway

News   Kennedy Center Mame May Be Headed to Broadway Is the Kennedy Center production of Mame — starring two-time Tony Award winner Christine Baranski in the title role — Broadway-bound?

The New York Post reports that the Nederlander Organization and producer Fran Weissler recently attended a performance of the Jerry Herman musical, which will play the D.C. theatre through July 2. The New York daily says that the Nederlanders and the Weisslers (Fran and husband Barry) hoped to co-produce a limited Broadway engagement at the Palace Theatre, beginning July 15.

However, the cost of producing the musical — with a possible running cost of $600,000 per week — may prevent the D.C. to N.Y.C. transfer. The Post says a decision regarding the Mame transfer will likely be made early next week.

About a possible New York run, actress Baranski recently told Playbill.com, "It's such a wonderful theatre experience. People come backstage and say, 'We start smiling the minute the overture starts.' They really don't write musicals like this anymore, and I know there are so many people [in New York] who would just get such pleasure sitting in an audience and hearing those songs and laughing like that. It's just a totally satisfying theatre experience, but that said, we've made a lot of people in Washington very happy."

Mame began previews at the Kennedy Center May 27 and officially opened June 1. The cast also features Harriet Harris as Vera Charles, Emily Skinner as Agnes Gooch, Jeff McCarthy as Beauregard, Max von Essen as the adult Patrick, Alan Muraoko as Ito, Harrison Chad as Young Patrick, Michael L. Forrest as Babcock, Ed Dixon as Lindsay Woolsey/Uncle Jeff, Mary Stout as Mother Burnside, Harry A. Winter as Mr. Claude Upson, Ruth Gottschall as Mrs. Doris Upson/Madame B. and Ethan Langsdorf-Willoughby as Peter.

Mame, according to press notes, "follows the whirlwind adventures of an unconventional aunt and her nephew with a rogue's gallery of memorable characters - including the has-been actress Vera Charles, timid secretary Agnes Gooch, and southern gentleman Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside - plus encounters with proper society." 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."

Mame plays Tuesday-Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 PM. Tickets, priced $25-$90, are available by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324. For more information visit www.kennedy-center.org.

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