“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.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Materials
  • Cast
  • History
  • Musical Numbers
  • Upcoming
  • 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           

  • MAME (100%)

                    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 on all websites on which you promote the play.

  • Full Orchestration

    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

    1 Percussion:

    Timpani (2 Drums)
    Bass Drum
    Snare Drum (sticks & brushes)
    Tom Tom (2 pitches)
    Temple Blocks (4 pitches)
    Cymbals (suspended & choke)
    Sleigh Bells
    Bells (soft & hard hammers)
    Temple Bell (‘C’ chime)
    Wood Block

    1 Harp
    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.

  • Rehearsal Materials

    2       Piano/Conductor Scores
    20     Libretto/Vocal Books

    Optional Additional Materials

    1       Stage Manager’s Guide

  • Principals

    (6 female; 5 male)

    Mame Dennis
    Vera Charles
    Agnes Gooch
    Mother Burnside
    Cousin Fan
    Sally Cato
    Uncle Jeff
    Young Patrick Dennis, age 10
    Patrick Dennis, age 19–29
    Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside


    Ralph Devine
    M. Lindsay Woolsey
    Elevator Boy
    Dwight Babcock
    Art Model
    Dance Teacher
    Leading Man
    Stage Manager
    Madame Branislowski
    Junior Babcock
    Mrs. Upson
    Mr. Upson
    Gloria Upson
    Pegeen Ryan
    Peter Dennis


    Mame’s Friends
    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.

    Awards (1966)

    3 Tony Awards for Actress, Featured Actress and Featured Actor
    2 Theatre world Awards (Jerry Lanning and Sheila Smith [1967])
    2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Performances

  • Act I

    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

    Act II

    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.

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    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