By Andrew Gans
27 Jun 2006
The New York Post recently reported that the Nederlander Organization and producer Fran Weissler attended a performance of the classic musical in D.C. 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 — seems to have prevented the D.C. to N.Y.C. transfer.
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."