- For the arcade emulator, see MAME. Mame is also another name for the coelacanth.
is a Broadway musical
The plot revolves around eccentric Mame Dennis, whose madcap life is disrupted when her deceased brother's son Patrick is entrusted to her care. Rather than bow to convention, Mame introduces the boy to her free-wheeling lifestyle, instilling in him her favorite credo - "Life is a banquet, and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death."
The musical's book was written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee - adapted from their play Auntie Mame, based on Patrick Dennis' autobiographical novel - with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman. It originially opened at the Winter Garden Theater in New York in 1966 with Angela Lansbury, and ran for 1,508 performances. Also featured in the cast were Bea Arthur and Peggy Cass. The 1969 West End production in London starred Ginger Rogers. Lansbury also starred in the successful 1983 revival on Broadway.
In 1966, both Bobby Darin and Louis Armstrong charted in the United States and Canada with their cover records of the musical's title song. Eydie Gormé had a huge success with her recording of If He Walked into My Life, another tune from the show.
A disastrous film version was released in 1974. Starring Lucille Ball, Beatrice Arthur, Robert Preston, Bruce Davison, Kirby Furlong , Jane Connell , and Joyce Van Patten , its screenplay was adapted by Paul Zindel, with direction by Gene Saks (Arthur's then husband). Released at a time when movie musicals were long out of fashion, it was a critical and commercial failure. Non-singing Ball croaked her way through her musical numbers, and her very soft-focus closeups were a jarring contrast to the crystal clear images in the rest of what proved to be her final film.