Musical Theatre West Presents Jerry Herman's MAME
Musical Theatre West (MTW) brings Jerry Herman's musical masterpiece Mame to Southern California for a three-week run at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center March 27 - April 12. Based on the novel, Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis and the play Auntie Mame by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, Mame lavishly delivers one of theater's all-time great heroines in a brassy, tuneful, hilarious and touching fashion. Tickets are available at www.musical.org, by calling (562) 856-1999, or at the Musical Theatre West Ticket Office. Tickets start at $20.
Mame Dennis is a well-to-do eccentric living in New York at the height of the Roaring Twenties when she receives a "wonderful present" - her 10-year old orphan nephew, Patrick. As she teaches him to be a "three dimensional" fellow, Patrick later must rescue his Aunt from the trap of a shallow lifestyle. One of Jerry Herman's most celebrated scores, features the classics "Mame," "Open a New Window," "If He Walked Into My Life," and "We Need a Little Christmas."
The adventures of Mame are as exciting as the character herself - first as a book, to a dramatic play, Broadway sensation, and film. A triumphant success in literature and on the dramatic stage, Jerry Herman, Lawrence, and Lee adapted the story into a Broadway musical. The show starred a relatively unknown Angela Lansbury to the musical stage, earning her the first of five Tony Awards. The show earned eight Tony nominations and brought home three coveted trophies. Lucille Ball stepped into the iconic character's shoes for the film adaptation, bringing a world-wide audience into the world of Mame.
Paul Garman, Executive Director/Producer of Musical Theatre West notes that "Musical Theatre West is delighted to bring this exciting show back to Southern California for its first major production since our last presentation in 2002. This will mark the fifth production of Mame in our 68 year history, having done the show in the 70s, 80s, 90s, as well as 2002. Always an obvious favorite, it is especially fitting that we're doing it as a tribute to the late Jerry Herman who passed away in December 2019. Jerry was a consultant for a 2002 production and we were thrilled to have his participation in that production, and gave his blessing for us to revive the show this year before he passed. It is truly one of his most beautiful scores."
MTW's production boasts a cast of Broadway and regional theatre talent. Cynthia Ferrer's (Mame) credits include more than 100 national tours, regional musicals, and New York productions. National tours include Singin' in the Rain (Kathy Selden) and Happy Days - The Musical (Marion Cunningham). She appeared at Madison Square Garden in Elf, and reprised the role for MTW. Additional MTW credits include Disney's The Little Mermaid (Ursula), Yankee Doodle Dandy (Nellie), and and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Muriel). Recently, she served as Associate Director to Spencer Liff for Singin' in the Rain at McCoy/Rigby Entertainment. She worked with Garry Marshall, Julia Roberts, Carol Burnett, and Alec Baldwin in such films as Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, and Georgia Rule. On "General Hospital," she portrayed Dr. Rachel Ryan.
Martin Kildare (Beauregard) starred on Broadway in The Lion King (Scar) and appeared in productions of A Raisin in the Sun, Timon of Athens, The Government Inspector, and The Herbal Bed, as well as co-starring in the National Tour of Mamma Mia! (Bill Austin). Off-Broadway credits include Pride's Crossing, Honor and the River, and Candida. With MTW, Kildare starred in productions of My Fair Lady (Professor Higgins), Mary Poppins (Mr. Banks), and Disney's The Little Mermaid (Grimsby). A mainstay on the Los Angeles theater scene, Kildare's credits include working with more than 20 leading companies including Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, 3-D Theatricals and ten seasons with major Shakespeare Festivals.
Tracy Lore (Vera Charles) starred in the National Tours of Disney's The Little Mermaid (Ursula), and Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby (Mrs. Darling). An Ovation Award recipient for her performance in Young Frankenstein (Frau Blucher), she earned additional nominations for her memorable performances in Once Upon a Mattress (Queen Aggravain), All Shook Up (Sandra), and Hairspray (Velma), as well as a Theatre League Award for Boeing-Boeing (Berthe). Additional credits include Chicago, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and Catch Me If You Can.
Kelley Dorney (Agnes Gooch) returns to MTW after receiving rave reviews for her work in Nice Work If You Can Get It (Billie) and Carousel (Heavenly Friend). With McCoy/Rigby Entertainment, she earned Ovation nominations for her performances in First Date and Singin' in the Rain. Additional credits include A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (Phoebe) and Oklahoma! (Ado Annie) with 3-D Theatricals; The Andrews Brothers for International City Theatre; The World Goes Round for Reprise 2.0, and Annie at the Hollywood Bowl. Dorney can also be seen in the London PBS Concert A Tale of Two Cities.
Making his professional stage debut is Jack Kirkner (Young Patrick Dennis). A 7th-grader in the Acting Conservatory at Orange County School of the Arts, he recently played Les in Newsies and Gavroche in Les Miserables, both at San Juan Hills High School. Other favorite shows include Seussical the Musical (Jojo), Peter Pan (Michael), Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Chip), and Disney's Aladdin (Abu).
Larry Raben (Director) has helmed numerous MTW productions, including Nice Work If You Can Get It, Sunset Blvd., Hairspray, The Wedding Singer, and Sugar with the Reiner Reading Series. Additional credits include Singin' in the Rain (Cabrillo - Ovation Award "Best Direction), the world premiere of Tony winner Joe DiPietro's Falling for Eve off-Broadway, Jersey Boys (Phoenix Theatre), Newsies and Titanic, (Moonlight), and Young Frankenstein (San Diego Best Director nomination).
Ryan O'Connell (Music Director) returns to MTW, where he lead the orchestra for productions of Oliver!, Disney and Cameron Macintosh's Mary Poppins and the Reiner Reading Series' Pipe Dream, On the 20th Century, Pal Joey. Off-Broadway Ryan served as Music Director/Orchestrator of Ernest Shackleton Loves Me. Additional credits include In the Heights, Into the Woods, CATS (Broadway at the Gardens), Claudio Quest, A Chorus Line, and Loch Ness (Chance Theater). Television credits include "Nightline: JFK Special" (NBC), "Sinatra 100" (CBS), and "Michael Bublé's Christmas in Hollywood" (NBC).
Karl Warden (Choreographer) has performed in productions coast to coast, from Into the Woods Chicago, and The Producers at the Hollywood Bowl to How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway and the City Center Encores! concert staging of Merrily We Roll Along starring Lin-Manuel Miranda. With MTW, Warden performed in and served as Dance Captain in numerous productions, including The Pajama Game and The Producers. As a choreographer, his work is featured in West Side Story and Shrek: The Musical (5-Star Theatricals), Disney's Newsies, Big Fish, Catch Me If You Can and The Addams Family (Moonlight Stage), and La Cage aux Folles (San Diego Musical Theatre). Film and television credits include Ted2, The Producers, and NBC's productions of The Sound of Music Live! and Peter Pan Live!
MTW's production of Mame is made possible thanks to the support of the Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles County Arts & Culture; Season Sponsors: Ackerman Family/Evalyn M Bauer Foundation, Kathy Baker Campbell and KC Wilson, Ken & Dottie Reiner, and Don & Marlene Temple; Honorary Producer: Joan Wells; Associate Producers: Denne & Anne Goldstein; and Youth Performance Underwriters: Don Black & Judy McNulty Black, Ron & Sylvia Hartman, and The Schulzman-Neri Foundation. Paul Garman serves as Executive Producer/Director of Musical Theatre West.
Tickets are now on sale for Musical Theatre West's production of Mame. For tickets, go to www.musical.org, call (562) 856-1999, or visit the MTW Box Office. Tickets start at $20 for select performances.