PLAYBILL PICKS: The Stage's Ten Greatest Christmas Scenes
25 Dec 2013
Mame This 1966 Jerry Herman musical actually doesn't take place during the holiday, but it contains one of the greatest manufactured Christmas moments in theatre history. The ebullient Auntie Mame has lost her fortune in the Crash of 1929. It's still November, but the indomitable dame decides that she and her young nephew Patrick "need a little Christmas now." Hence, the show-stopping number, "We Need a Little Christmas," which has since become a holiday radio favorite. Sample lyric: "It hasn't snowed a single flurry/But Santa, dear, we're in a hurry." "This is the perfect Christmas number because it is decidedly not about Christmas," said Steven Suskin. "It's about the need for Christmas, and Christmas spirit. The magic in the original number was not only from the song and the sterling performers; it also came in the arrangement and orchestrations, which were exuberant and lit up the theatre." Here's a clip from the film version that starred Lucille Ball.
Angela Lansbury, Jane Connell, Sab Shimono and Frankie Michaels in the original Broadway production of Mame.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.