The only word that can describe Angela Lansbury's game-changing performance in Mame is triumphant. While her work in Anyone Can Whistle was stellar, the show's short run failed to establish her as the first-rate musical comedy star she so richly is. The juggernaut smash Mame then did the trick. Though Rosalind Russell had already laid claim to the character via the play and movie "Auntie Mame" and Lucille Ball starred in the movie of the musical, the legend of Lansbury's grand slam and her cast album at the very heart of musical theatre's core curriculum ensure that the Lansbury portrayal is the definitive Mame for the ages. Lansbury's vivacious "It's Today" and open-hearted, open-gutted "If He Walked Into My Life" showcase all the bombast and warmth one could ever want in a rich, full belt voice that's theatrical and exciting without sacrificing any conversational realness or sense of character. It's an exemplary performance and part of the reason Mame is seemingly impossible to revive.