“MAME”  DAZZLES AT THE THOMASTON OPERA HOUSE


BONNIE GOLDBERG

The Thomaston Opera House bills itself as “Big Theatre in a Small Town.”  It is also celebrating a rich and colorful history over its 125 years since its founding.  Built in 1884, it was created by Seth Thomas for whom the town was named, working with other residents to build a structure to serve the arts in a thriving community.

For over two decades, John Lauter, a Detroit native, has been welcoming theater goers with a program of organ music that is spirited and engaging.  For a rousing community cast production of Jerry Herman’s lively musical “Mame,” plan to visit the Thomaston Opera House by Sunday, November 22.

Susan Kulp sparkles and dazzles as the eccentric, unconventional, free spirited Mame Dennis whose life takes quite a right turn when she inherits her brother’s son Patrick to raise.  For a woman dedicated to wringing the last drop from the juicy sponge of life, Mame assumes her role as “aunty” without spilling a tasty morsel.  Her exuberance in the song “It’s Today” sets the tone for the show.

Young Patrick is played by a sporting and fine Bailey Cummings and later by Lucien Harton-Nassef .  Patrick takes to his aunt’s unorthodox life style as if it is as common as a bowl of corn flakes and milk.  He thrives under her loving care and adventurous ways, accepting the diverse characters who people her world, like his nanny Gooch (Rebekah Derrick), her best friend Vera Charles (Val Vitalo), her house boy Ito (Justin Boudreau), her new husband Beau (Casey McKenna) and his irritating guardian Mr. Babcock (Lyle Ressler).

A parade of great tunes follow the action, like “Open a New Window,” “We Need a Little Christmas,” “Bosom Buddies,” “Gooch’s Song” and “If He Walked Into My Life.” For director F. George Paris, “Mame” is “witty dialogue, catchy music, spirited dance numbers, interesting characters – yes, all this and more.”  The 1920's roar with a special joy.

For tickets ($20-22, seniors and students $17-19), call the Thomaston Opera House, 158 Main Street, Thomaston at 860-283-6250 or online at www.thomastonoperahouse.org.  Performances are Friday and Saturday  at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Learn how life can be a banquet and stuffing yourself is not only permitted, it’s encouraged, in this delightful family musical adapted from the book written by Patrick Dennis about life with his extraordinary aunt Mame.

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THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE MIDDLETOWN PRESS ON NOVEMBER 19.

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