“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” That’s the motto of Mame Dennis, one of musical theatre’s all-time greatest heroines, in this brassy, tuneful, hilarious and touching adaptation of Patrick Dennis’s bestseller, Auntie Mame.
Jerry Herman’s celebrated score includes the rousing title number, plus “Open a New Window,” “If He Walked into My Life,” “We Need a Little Christmas,” “Bosom Buddies” and “That’s How Young I Feel.” With spirit, humor, class and wit, MAME is sure to thrill audiences for generations to come.
- Musical Numbers
Mame is a happy happening. She is well-to-do, lives in New York at the peak of the 1920’s, and is surprised by a “wonderful present”: an orphan nephew named Patrick.
Now, ten-year-old Patrick needs his aunt, and this is something new for Mame – to be needed. It changes her life. It brings her into sharp conflict with her best friend, Vera Charles, a multi-martini grande dame of the legitimate theatre… for Vera can’t stand children. The man Mame is about to marry is perfectly willing to take on the boy as a bonus, but Mame doesn’t think she’ll have time for marriage – “I’ll be too busy being a mother!” The boy’s nanny, Agnes Gooch, doesn’t approve of those irrepressible things which go on in Mame’s Beekman Place apartment, and yet she inevitably falls under her spell.
Eye to eye, toe to toe, Mame battles Babcock, the Babbitt-ish banker who wants to make young Patrick the prisoner of the Establishment and put the chains of conformity around him. With the balloon burst of the Depression, it looks as if Babcock is going to have his way. Mame loses all her money, and she loses jobs as quickly as she finds them. (Mame’s gift is giving, not working for hire!) In a brief adventure as a manicurist, she meets Beau – a wealthy scion of the South. He takes Mame to his plantation for the begrudging approval of his family. They are astounded at her exploits on horseback (so is she)! Of course, Beau proposes – in the bouncing title song, which sings the praises of “Mame!” There’s only one problem as the curtain falls on the first act: young Patrick, who has given her such joy and provided a purpose in her life, smiles bravely. But he’s afraid he has lost his “Best Girl.”
Act Two rushes headlong into the thirties. Vera stands by her “Bosom Buddy” when Mame returns to Beekman Place after Beau’s sudden death. Patrick, now in college, and Mame’s former suitor, Lindsay Woolsey, prompt Mame into writing her memoirs. Gooch has been primed in secretarial school to type up Mame’s pearls of wisdom – but an experiment in a liberated life has a transforming influence on Patrick’s nanny. And the maturing Patrick seems to be slipping away from Mame’s ideal of freedom. When he declares his engagement to a fatuous blonde “with the IQ of a dead flashlight battery,” Mame is in despair. What did she do wrong? What would she do differently, “If He Walked Into My Life” today?
But the lady’s resources are endless. Just as young Patrick rescued her from the shallow trap of the twenties, she helps the boy to save himself from a life of Darien drabness and snobbery. Ingeniously, she foils the establishment and life goes on, not with Auntie Mame but with Grand Auntie Mame rescuing another youngster from the toils of conformity.
Mame is Eve, St. Joan, Lady Godiva, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Bow and Florence Nightingale. She dances, too, and defies all generation gaps! We have seen hundreds of Auntie Mames and Mames: in each one there seemed to be a flash of something a bit different, a new discovery in the way this remarkable lady thinks, feels, moves. We’ve had ten plays on Broadway – but somehow MAME is the show we’ve always looked forward to seeing again!
– Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Book by Music and Lyrics by
Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Jerry Herman (75%)
Based on the Novel by Patrick Dennis and the Play AUNTIE MAME
by Lawrence and Lee (50%)
Original Choreography by Onna White (50%)
Original Direction by Gene Saks (50%)
Produced for the New York Stage by Fryer, Carr & Harris (50%)
Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.
The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:
is presented by arrangement with
Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company
Additionally, you agree to include the above language hyperlinked to https://tamswitmark.com/ on all websites on which you promote the play.
2 Violin I (optional)
1 Violin II (optional)
1 Viola (optional)
1 Cello (optional)
1 Bass and optional Tuba
1 Reed I: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed II: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Alto Saxophone (and optional Flute)
1 Reed III: Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone (and optional Oboe & English Horn)
1 Reed IV: Clarinet and Baritone Saxophone
1 Reed V: Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone
2 Trumpet I & II
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
1 Trombone III
Timpani (2 Drums)
Snare Drum (sticks & brushes)
Tom Tom (2 pitches)
Temple Blocks (4 pitches)
Cymbals (suspended & choke)
Bells (soft & hard hammers)
Temple Bell (‘C’ chime)
1 Guitar & Banjo
Piano-Celeste (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with the rehearsal material.)
The MAME orchestration has been arranged to meet the requirements of a small or large orchestra.
The minimum instrumentation for an effective-sounding performance is: Reed I, II, III, IV, 3 Trumpets, 1 Trombone, Bass, Percussion & Piano. Thereafter, instruments should be added in the following order: Reed V, Trombone II, Trombone III, Violin I, Violin II, Cello, Guitar-Banjo, Viola, and lastly, Harp.
2 Piano/Conductor Scores
20 Libretto/Vocal Books
Optional Additional Materials
1 Stage Manager’s Guide
(6 female; 5 male)
Young Patrick Dennis, age 10
Patrick Dennis, age 19–29
Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside
M. Lindsay Woolsey
Male and Female Performers at the Shubert Theatre
Guests at Peckerwood
Guests at Upson Farm
The original Broadway production had a cast of 41 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.
MAME played originally for 1508 performances on Broadway at the Winter Garden and Broadway Theatres starring Angela Lansbury, Beatrice Arthur and Frankie Michaels. It played for 443 performances in London at the Drury Lane Theatre. It was revived on Broadway in 1983, again with Angela Lansbury starring as Mame Dennis.
3 Tony Awards for Actress, Featured Actress and Featured Actor
2 Theatre world Awards (Jerry Lanning and Sheila Smith )
2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Performances
1. Overture – Orchestra
1a. Opening Act I – Orchestra
2. “St. Bridget” – Agnes & Young Patrick
3. “It’s Today” – Mame, Vera, & Chorus
4. Reprise: “It’s Today” – Mame, Young Patrick, & Chorus
5. Change of Scene – Orchestra
5a. Scene 5 Incidental – Orchestra
6. “Open A New Window” – Mame, Young Patrick, & Chorus
6a. “Open A New Window (Part II)” – Mame, Young Patrick, & Chorus
7. Incidental Scene 6 – Orchestra
8. “The Moon Song” – Vera, Mame, & Girls
8a. Moon Song Bows – Orchestra
9. “My Best Girl” – Young Patrick & Mame
9a. Scene Change – Orchestra
9b. Incidental: Manicurist – Orchestra
10. “We Need A Little Christmas” – Mame, Agnes, Ito, & Young Patrick
10a. Reprise: “We Need A Little Christmas” – Mame, Agnes, Ito, Young Patrick, & Beau
10b. Incidental Scene 10 – Orchestra
11. “The Fox Hunt” – Young Patrick, Uncle Jeff, Mother Burnside, Sally Cato, & Chorus
12. “Mame” – Beau, Mother Burnside, & Chorus
12a. Finale Act I – Young Patrick & Chorus
13. Entr’acte – Orchestra
14. Opening Act II – Orchestra
15. Reprise: “My Best Girl” – Older Patrick
15a. Scene Change – Orchestra
16. “Bosom Buddies” – Mame & Vera
17. Reprise: “Bosom Buddies” – Mame & Vera
17a. Madrigal – Orchestra
18. “Gooch’s Song” – Agnes
19. The Darien Dip – Orchestra
19a. Incidental – Orchestra
19b. “That’s How Young I Feel” – Mame & Chorus
19c. That’s How Young I Feel (Dance) – Chorus
20. “If He Walked Into My Life” – Mame
21. Reprise: “It’s Today” – Mame, Vera, & Chorus
22. Reprise: “My Best Girl” – Older Patrick
23. Finale Act II – Mame
Curtain Calls – Chorus
Exit Music – Orchestra
Find upcoming performances near you.
Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance Donovan Catholic High School Toms River, NJ 11/21/2019 11/24/2019 Theatre of Dare Manteo, NC 02/21/2020 03/01/2020 Musical Theatre West Long Beach, CA 03/27/2020 04/12/2020 Artistry Theater Minneapolis, MN 04/14/2020 05/10/2020