November 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Mame  - 1974 Warner Bros musical starring Lucille Ball and Robert Preston
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman
  Available on: RHINO RHM2 7842
Running Time: 44:23


Lucille Ball could never be claimed to be a diva; in fact much of the recurring fun in her celebrated TV series revolved around the limited capacity of her vocal chords. Yet nevertheless she was selected to play the lead in the Warner Bros 1973 musical film of the Broadway hit play Auntie Mame, a show that ran for 639 performances beginning in October 1956. [Warner Bros had also filmed the original play in 1958 with Rosalind Russell, then Angela Lansbury wowed Broadway when the play was turned into the musical, Mame.] As a result Lucille received less than rave reviews – the critics definitely did not love Lucy. Thirty years on this new release allows one to listen to the score with a little more objectivity and a little less prejudice.

The high-spirited extrovert score’s highlights include the cheeky ‘The Man in the Moon’ with lyrics like, "don’t offend her remember her gender, the man in the moon is a miss" , the tenderly romantic ‘Loving You’ and of course the unforgettable, breezy ‘Mame’ both sung by Robert Preston. ‘Bossom Buddies’,a number that includes the wickedly witty, bitchy exchanges between Lucille and Beatrice Arthur is another celebrated highlight.

Bright and breezy Auntie Mame is a tonic.

Ian Lace

*** 3

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