Harriet Harris is Baranski's Bosom Buddy in Kennedy Center Mame

Tony Award-winner Harriet Harris will play boozy broad Vera Charles in the Kennedy Center's production of Mame.  She will join the previously-announced Christine Baranski in the title role, Max von Essen as older Patrick and Emily Skinner as Agnes Gooch.

Mame,
which was originally to have opened at the Eisenhower Theatre in February,
will now open at the famed Washington, D.C. performing arts center on June 1st after beginning previews on May 27th; it will run though July 2nd.  Eric Schaeffer, the Helen Hayes Award-winning fixture of D.C.-area musical theatre, will direct the buoyant Jerry Herman musical.

Joining Schaeffer on the creative team will be choreographer Warren Carlyle, set designer Walt Spangler, costume designer Gregg Barnes and lighting designer Ken Billington.

Harris, who is familiar to TV audiences for her recurring role on "Desperate Housewives," received a Tony Award for her performance as the sinister Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie.  She was previously seen on Broadway in The Man Who Came to Dinner and Four Baboons Adoring the Sun.  Other New York theatre credits include The Crucible, Hamlet, Macbeth,
Jeffrey and Bella, Belle of Byelorussia; she was Drama Desk Award-nominated for the latter two shows.  TV and film work includes "It's All Relative," "Six Feet Under," "Frasier," Memento, Nurse Betty and Quiz Show.

The story of a boy's loving but complex relationship with his unconventional aunt, Mame was first adapted by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee from Patrick Dennis' 1955 fictionalized memoir into a hit play starring Rosalind Russell (who also starred in the film version). Lawrence and Lee, with Herman, refashioned the piece into a musical in 1966, and it starred Angela Lansbury. She, Beatrice Arthur and Frankie Michaels all won Tonys, and the show was nominated for five others, including Best Musical. The musical was then turned into another film starring Lucille Ball, and an ill-fated 1983 Broadway revival that also starred Lansbury folded in a little after a month.

Mame
will play Tuesday-Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 PM. Tickets, which range from $25 to $90, can be ordered by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-132. Visit www.kennedy-center.org for more information.

 

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