She was the original Maria in West Side Story, but now she plays an even freer -- and much luckier -- spirit. Carol Lawrence, whose credits also include Kiss of the Spider Woman, Sugar Babies, and the original national tour of Funny Girl, stars in a production of Jerry Herman’s 1966 musical Mame, arriving June 17-July 9 at Nyack, NY's Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center. Norb Joerder directs and choreographs the show, based on Patrick Dennis' novel, "Auntie Mame," which was then adapted into Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's comedy of the same name.
Hayes Center artistic director Rod Kaats promises "31 performers, over 150 costumes and constantly changing sets" for the production, which is designed by Michael Anania (sets), Kimberly Wick (costumes), Aaron Spivey (lighting) and Peter Fitzgerald (sound).
Co-starring with Lawrence in the show are Diane J. Findlay (as Mame's pal, Vera), Max Tuma, Michael Malone, Ryan Michael Adams, Kikau Alvaro, Hale Appleman, Paul Ashley, Andrea Bagan and Mary Ellen Ashley, among others. William R. Cox serves as musical director.
For tickets ($20-$42.50) and information on Mame at the Hayes Center, 117 Main Street in Nyack, call (914) 358-6333.
* As for next season, the venue is tentatively looking at Oliver! (Sept. 23-Oct. 8) the female Odd Couple (Nov. 4-19), Annie (Dec. 2 23), an as-yet-to-be-determined world premiere (March 7-April 1, 2001), The Last Night of Ballyhoo (April 21-May 6) and A Chorus Line (June 2-17).
-- By David Lefkowitz