Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Barrington Stage Opens a New Window for Sandy Duncan as Mame

Barrington Stage Opens a New Window for Sandy Duncan as Mame

The Berkshire's Barrington Stage has just announced that they've found their Mame in actress Sandy Duncan. Donna McKechnie was originally slated for the role.

Although Duncan's perhaps most widely known for her stints on television's "The Hogan Family" from the late 80s and her wonderful short-lived "Funny Face" sitcom (that later became "The Sandy Duncan Show") back in 1971 -- as well as serving as a long-term spokesperson for Triscuits -- Duncan has had an accomplished experience treading the boards over the last forty-plus years. In fact, she earned three Tony nominations: for 1969's Canterbury Tales, 1971's The Boy Friend and 1980's Peter Pan. She's also been among the countless stars to portray Roxie Hart in the ongoing Broadway revival of Chicago.

Personally, I've had a chance to catch her far from Broadway in two perfectly delightful roles: as Reno Sweeney in an engaging 2002 staging of Anything Goes and then again two years ago as Anna Leonowens in a decent touring production of The King And I with Martin Vidnovic. To be honest, I was very pleasantly surprised not only by her singing but also by her hoofing. She was charming in making each character her own.

Having the captivating Christine Baranski revival of Mame so fresh in my memory, I've still got to wrap my mind around Duncan in this challenging role. But given how well she's surprised me before, she just might be able to swing leaving her own mark on Mame Dennis.

The Julianne Boyd-helmed Mame will run October 4-15 at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for ticket information.

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