Angela Lansbury & Original Cast of MAME to Celebrate Musical's 50th Anniversary at Sardi's
Mame, starring stage icon Angela Lansbury opened on Broadway 50 years ago this year - and in celebration, members of the company, including Lansbury, will gather for a 50th Anniversary Celebration at Sardi's on May 26. Other cast appearances have yet to be confirmed.
The hit musical Mame has a book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. It is based on the 1955 novel "Auntie Mame" by Patrick Dennis and a 1956 Broadway play, by Lawrence and Lee, that starred Rosalind Russell. The musical opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre on May 24, 1966. Three years later, it transferred to the Broadway Theatre, where it remained until closing on January 3, 1970. It ran a total of 1,508 performances and five previews.
The classic musical starred Angela Lansbury as Mame, and the cast included Bea Arthur as Vera Charles, Frankie Michaels as young Patrick, Jane Connell as Agnes Gooch, Charles Braswell as Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside, Jerry Lanning as older Patrick, Sab Shimono as Ito, and Willard Waterman as Dwight Babcock.
The smash hit was Produced by Fryer, Carr & Harris Inc; Associate Producer: John Bowab and was Directed by Gene Saks, and Choreographed by Onna White. The Scenic Design was by William and Jean Eckart, Costume Design by Robert Mackintosh, Lighting Design by Tharon Musser. The Orchestrations were by Philip J. Lang and the Musical Director and Vocal Arrangements were by Donald Pippin, with Dance Arrangements by Roger Adams. Hair Design was by Ronald De Mann and the Assistant choreographer was Tom Panko. The Production Stage Manager was Terence Little; Stage Manager: Ralph Linn and Delman Hendricks; and Assistant Stage Managers Stan Page and Nancy Lynch.
Tony Awards were won by Angela Lansbury, Beatrice Arthur, Frankie Michaels and the show received Tony nominations for Gene Saks, Onna White, Jerry Herman, Jerome Lawrence & Robert Lee and William & Jean Eckart. Outer Critic Circle Awards were won by Lansbury and Arthur. Theatre World Awards went to Jerry Lanning and Sheila Smith.
When Angela left the Broadway run to headline a special tour, she was followed by stage veteran Janis Paige, then Jane Morgan, and finally Ann Miller for the almost four Year Broadway engagement. The West End production starred Ginger Rogers at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane with a special performance for Queen Elizabeth II. Susan Hayward appeared in the Las Vegas production, while such stars as Juliet Prowse, Janet Blair, Elaine Stritch, Edie Adams, Patrice Munsel, Carol Lawrence, Ann Southern and Sheila Smith have appeared in stock, regional or touring productions.