Chesapeake Music Hall gives fine 'Mame' production Musical review

September 20, 1996|By Pat Shipley Hook | Pat Shipley Hook,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Chesapeake Music Hall's production of "Mame" deserves great acclaim.

For a ma-and-pa troupe to come up with a production as good as this one is miraculous. And much of the miracle work is done by Sherry Kay, who not only plays the title role with aplomb but also is co-producer, choreographer and costumer.

Kay's Mame shows softness as well as strength. She is gorgeous in stunning gowns and the other costumes, and dance numbers are impressive.

Based on the novel "Auntie Mame" by Patrick Dennis, the show tells the story of a 10-year-old boy sent to live with an aunt whose idea of child-rearing includes teaching youngsters to mix martinis and dance the tango in a speakeasy.

The music and lyrics by Jerry Herman provide songs for singers and dancers who want to expend lots of energy. 'Mame' includes numbers such as "We Need a Little Christmas," "It's Today" and the show-stopping title tune, which closes the first act.

Two local actors, William Amos and Andrew Hoffman, alternate as the young Patrick Dennis. Andrew was good on the night I reviewed, making it easy to see why Mame would be so devoted to him.

Melinda Lee Braden plays Patrick's nursemaid, Agnes Gooch, with appropriate mousiness, while Debbie Barber handles the role of Vera Charles, Mame's best friend. She and Kay make "Bosom Buddies" the best number in the show.

David B. Reynolds, living up to the line, "He looks like Rhett Butler," is particularly adept at singing and charming Mame as her savior, Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside.

The facility was not designed to be a dinner theater, but like the irresistible Mame, Sherry Kay and Doug Yetter, co-owners and producers, get the most out of what they have. One can't help but wish they could obtain better lighting and a better sound system.

The buffet, under Kelly Bustard's supervision, continues to be delicious with a good variety of vegetables and main courses.

The show runs Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons through Nov. 17. Information: (410) 626-7515 or (800) 406-0306.

Pub Date: 9/20/96

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