Friday, February 29, 2008


Time once again for another thrilling theatre review from yours truly.

Wednesday night I went to Mame at the 5th Avenue Theatre. This is another classic from the legendary 1960's musical theatre genre. The plot revolves around a young boy whose father dies and he goes off to live with his eccentric Aunt Mame in New York City. The story takes a bizarre journey with many strange twists and turns, which are all but irrelevant to the musical itself. The plot is just compelling enough to tie the big, lavish production numbers together throughout the show.

And production numbers they were.

Despite the bizarre compounding of scenes, I was oddly entertained by this show.

The lead role of Mame, originally pioneered on Broadway by the equally legendary Angela Lansbury, was outstandingly performed by Dee Hoty, who has had multiple Tony nominations for various Broadway performances throughout her career. In fact, the entire ensemble (of over 30 actors) was probably one of the finest I've seen come out of the 5th Avenue in recent memory. The production numbers were exciting and fun to watch. Though if I had to cite a fault, on a few of them the dancing was not quite as polished and in-sync as you would hope.

The music was typical of the 1960's musicals... I hesitate to say boring, but definitely the composition of a bygone era. A few songs, including the title number, are still equally recognizable today, if not by words by the tune itself.

And I know you love my ratings, so...

Cast: 5 stars - Outstanding. I'd give this bonus stars if I could.
Script: 3 stars - Don't go for the story.
Technical: 4 stars - Another great production by the 5th.
Music: 3 stars - On the high-side of 3, but nothing to write home about.
Overall: 3 stars - I nearly gave this 4, but I want to resist rating inflation, and there's definitely a level between this and the top, so it needs a 3.

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