Harris joins the previously announced Christine Baranski (in the title role), Emily Skinner (as Agnes Gooch) and Max von Essen (as the adult Patrick) for the musical, which will begin performances at the D.C. theatre May 27, 2006, with an official opening night set for June 1. Directed by Eric Schaeffer, the limited engagement will play the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater through July 2.
The musical's creative team comprises Warren Carlyle (choreographer), Walt Spangler (set designer), Ken Billington (lighting designer) and Gregg Barnes (costume designer).
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."
Harriet Harris, who has most recently been seen on the hit ABC series "Desperate Housewives," received Tony and Drama Desk awards for her performance as Mrs. Meers in the Tony-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. She has also been seen on the New York stage in The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Crucible, Man and Superman, Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Jeffrey and Bella, Belle of Byelorussia. Harris received Drama Desk nominations for her work in Jeffrey and Bella and has appeared on screen in "It's All Relative," "Memento," "Nurse Betty," "Romeo and Juliet," "Quiz Show," "Six Feet Under," "Frasier" and "The Beast.
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 will play 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) 444-132. For more information visit www.kennedy-center.org.