Sunday, July 02, 2006
Kennedy Center's Mame Closes Today
With just over a month of nearly sold-out performances, the Kennedy Center revival of Mame concludes its all-too-brief run. I enjoyed nearly everything about this dazzling production.
As I've previously noted, it's a downright disgrace that critics converged on the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater only days after Christine Baranski began her run -- had they waited, they would have seen an immensely confident and proud portrayal of Mame Dennis. Indeed, even the Washington Post's Peter Marks appears to be somewhat remorseful for his earlier review after taking in another performance one month later.
Noting how Mame "can leave in a hail of bubbles," Marks now praises Baranski, saying she "...seems untethered from doubt. Her Mame is more girlish and motherly than a month ago, when the actress appeared preoccupied with getting her high kicks right and negotiating the steps of an unwieldy staircase that is rolled on and off the stage all evening....To deliver one of Herman's best punch lines, Baranski now takes a pause in 'Bosom Buddies' so pregnant it's as if she's gone on strike in mid-joke. When the verbal hammer finally falls, the italicizing of the putdown gives it a scintillating zing."
The biggest disappointment, quite frankly, is that this marks the end for this unmitigated crowd pleaser, particularly now that it's hit its magnificent stride. It all seems incredibly unfair that the show dedicated to living must now come to a close. Is it too much to hope that Broadway producers might rethink the potential of a New York run?
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
Baranski's Mame Won't Open a New Window on Broadway (June 27, 2006)
Mame (The SOB Review) - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Eisenhower Theatre, Washington, DC (June 18, 2006)
Mame Slightly Bruised, Not Maimed, by Critics (June 2, 2006)
Assassins Loose in Washington for Another Week (May 31, 2006)
Mame with Christine Baranski Begins Saturday at Kennedy Center (May 26, 2006)