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BWW Reviews: Bucks County Playhouse's MAME is a Triumph

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Bucks County Playhouse kicks off its 2013 season with an inspired and exceptionally executed production of MAME. This production of MAME was originally produced at the Media Theatre in Media, Pennsylvania. Jesse Cline directs the show, and MAME stars Andrea McArdle as Mame and Lea DeLaria as Vera Charles. Bucks County Playhouse's MAME will delight audiences with its exceptional choreography, powerful singing, and its heartwarming plot. If you have not gotten tickets to MAME at Bucks County Playhouse, I advise you to do so now before it is too late.

MAME is a musical that opened on Broadway in 1966 and starred Angela Lansbury as Mame and Beatrice Arthur as Vera Charles. Jerry Herman wrote the music and lyrics for the show, and some consider MAME one of Herman's best scores. Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee wrote the book. This musical is based on the 1955 novel AUNTIE MAME, which was written by PatRick Dennis.

MAME is a story about a woman, Mame Dennis, who is eccentric. Her life is interrupted when her deceased brother's son, Patrick, is entrusted to her care. The musical is about family, friendship and coming of age. This current production embraces the eccentric characteristics of both Mame and Vera, and allows the characters to evolve throughout the show.

In the title role of Mame is Andea McArdle. McArdle is stunning in her first appearance on stage, as she descends the stairway. McArdle depicts Mame's strength elegantly. One of McArdle's best songs in the show is "If He Walked into my Life," and her voice is strong and emotional. Lea DeLaria portrays the larger than life character, Vera Charles. DeLaria adds humor to the show, as well as shows Vera's passionate side. "The Moon Song" is an entertaining number and will have audiences laughing hysterically. The iconic song "Bosom Buddies" is the best number in the show, and the best rendition I have seen done anywhere. McArdle and DeLaria celebrate their characters, and add a uniqueness to these characters that make them original and distinctive. Neither one of these fine actors are emulating previous actors, they are making the characters their own, and for this I applaud them. Seeing McArdle and DeLaria's version of "Bosom Buddies" is worth the price of admission.

The entire cast of this show is phenomenal, and they make this version of MAME fresh and exceptionally enjoyable. JD Triolo plays Young Patrick and he brings heartfelt emotion and enthusiasm to his role. When Triolo sings "My Best Girl" audiences will feel his heartwarming emotion toward Mame. Jennifer Bissell is fantastic as Agnes Gooch. She adds humor to the show, and her rendition of "Gooch's Song" is sensational. Andy Joos portrays Beauregarde, and he is charming as a southern gentleman. Kelly Briggs plays Babcock, the officious executor of Patrick's father's estate. Briggs gives this character animation and audiences will feel his character seething with disapproval for the way Mame is raising Patrick. Matthew Wojtal plays Older Patrick, and is delightful in this role. This cast is amazing from the stars of the show to the ensemble; every person in this cast makes this show a supreme success.

The creative team of this show also needs commended. Todd Craft is the scenic designer, Nicole V. Moody serves as the costume designer, and Troy Martin O'Shia and Travis McHale are the lighting designers. In addition, Dann Dunn is the choreographer, and Tom Fosnocht serves as the music director.

MAME is at Bucks County Playhouse through June 9, 2013. For more information and tickets contact the box office at 215-862-2121 or visit www.bcptheatre.org.

Photo Credit: Mandee Kuenzle


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From This Author Kelli Curtin

Kelli Curtin is a Broadwayworld contributor based in Pennsylvania. In addition, to writing for broadwayworld.com she is editor and writer for TheatreSensation.com and blogs about (read more...)

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