"Mame" bows at Goodspeed

Louise Pitre has been called Canada's "first lady of musical theater," and her long resume and ecstatic reviews bear that out. She played Fantine in "Les MisÚrables" in Toronto and Montreal (and Paris, too). She originated the role of Donna in "Mamma Mia!," playing it in Toronto - and on Broadway.

Well, Connecticut, here she comes. Pitre will take on the iconic title role in "Mame" at the Goodspeed Opera House.

In the musical comedy, Auntie Mame is raising her orphaned nephew and teaching him how to live life - fully and with happy abandon. (Mame's most famous line is, after all, "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.") Mame also happens to be dancing through the Roaring 20s, having fun with her eccentric pals, and overcoming any difficulty.

The songs come courtesy of legend Jerry Herman, and the book is by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee.

"Mame," which opens Friday at the Goodspeed Opera House, is being directed by Ray Roderick. He's familiar to Goodspeed audiences for his other work here, which has included "Singin' in the Rain" and "42nd Street."

- KRISTINA DORSEY

"Mame," Goodspeed Opera House, 6 Main St., East Haddam; opens Friday and runs through July 1; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Wed., 7:30 p.m. Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri., 3 and 8 p.m. Sat., and 2 p.m. Sun., along with 6:30 p.m. on select Sundays and 2 p.m. on select Thursdays; $27-$75.50; (860) 873-8668, goodspeed.org.

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