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AUNTIE MAME Sweeps Into South Bend Civic Theatre 5/6-22

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Pull up a seat at life's banquet as South Bend Civic Theatre proudly presents one of the great comic characters of the 20th century in her original (non-musical) stage incarnation, Auntie Mame, May 6th through May 22nd in the Wilson Mainstage Auditorium 403 N. Main Street, South Bend.

Adapted by playwriting team Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee from the wildly popular novel by PatRick Dennis, Auntie Mame follows young PatRick Dennis, suddenly orphaned, who is sent to live with his closest relative - his delightfully unconventional and eccentric aunt Mame Dennis. Living with Auntie Mame introduces Patrick to her world of high style, crazy parties, madcap friends, and delirious "parenting" ideas. Through their adventures in dealing with financial ruin, romantic entanglements, ill-suited employment, and stuffy conformists, Patrick learns from his aunt the importance of being true to yourself and living life to its fullest.

Just in time to usher in Mother's Day, Auntie Mame introduces audiences to all of the beloved and delightful characters orbiting Mame's world - her best pal the always flamboyant and often inebriated actress Vera Charles, romantic Southern gentlemen Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside and all the Burnside relations; uptight trustee Dwight Babcock, mousy assistant Agnes Gooch, and adorable 10 year old nephew Patrick.

Premiering in 1957, Auntie Mame was a Broadway sensation running for two years, eventually becoming an Oscar-nominated film featuring Rosalind Russell recreating her stage triumph; then a celebrated musical version Mame which was also adapted for film. In the years since being first published, the character of Auntie Mame has become an icon of individuality; "irrepressible, adoring, easily distracted, utterly down-to-earth... the guardian any sensible child would love to have," in the words of NPR contributor Bob Mondello.

Director Mary Hubbard calls the play "a well-crafted show that has withstood the test of time. Literally generations have enjoyed it, the timeless humor and revealing sketches reveal the joi de vivre of a free spirit pitted against the overwhelming conformity of the the day in which Dennis wrote his book. Mame still sparkles with life and joy. She is a heroine who overcomes many obstacles, landing on her feet time and again."

Auntie Mame features Civic favorite Pat Berardi at the title character, a woman one writer lovingly described as "America's diabolical answer to Mary Poppins." Populating the zany world of the play are Stephen Bailey, LaWanda Bell, Andrew Brent, Roy Bronkema, Katie Campbell, Kirsten Campbell, Soren Campbell, Silas Chester, Dawn Hagerty, Elisabeth Hertz, Seyhan Kilic, Carrie Lucas, Michael Porter, Daniel Santos, Siôn Shepley, Dillon Slagle, Victoria Slagle, Michelle Toscano, Patrick Trimboli, Amy Watson, Justin Williams, Matt Wilson and Civic veteran Mary Ann Moran as Vera.

In conjunction with this production, South Bend Civic Theatre is also showcasing the Casaday costume collection and its longtime manager Jean Severese. Pieces from the collection will be used in the production as well as being on display in the Main Lobby.

Performance times are 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 3 pm on Sundays. Performances will be held in the Wilson Mainstage at South Bend Civic Theatre, 403 N. Main Street, South Bend, IN. Tickets are $14 Wednesdays and Thursdays, $17 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and can be purchased either by calling the Box Office 574-234-1112 or in person Monday through Friday from 12-6 at 403 North Main St. or online by visiting www.sbct.org.

Hearing assistance devices are available for patrons and the theatre is wheelchair accessible. Please let the box office know at time of ticket reservation if accommodations are needed.

South Bend Civic Theatre would like to thank season sponsor Villing and Company, Mainstage series sponsor Majority Builders, and show sponsor Holy Cross Village.


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