But Darling, I'm Your Auntie Mame!: The Amazing History of the World's Favorite Madcap Aunt

Overview

This is the amazing story of how one outrageous, larger-than-life but extraordinarily human fictional character became one of the most popular heroines ever to grace the pages of two novels, two stage plays and two screen adaptations. First published in 1955, Patrick Dennis's beloved novel chronicled a young boy's adventures with his eccentric, warm-hearted aunt -- a character played to perfection by actors as diverse as Rosalind Russell, Angela Lansbury, and Lucille Ball. But taking Mame from page to stage to ...
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New York, NY 2004 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 250 p. Contains: Illustrations.

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Overview

This is the amazing story of how one outrageous, larger-than-life but extraordinarily human fictional character became one of the most popular heroines ever to grace the pages of two novels, two stage plays and two screen adaptations. First published in 1955, Patrick Dennis's beloved novel chronicled a young boy's adventures with his eccentric, warm-hearted aunt -- a character played to perfection by actors as diverse as Rosalind Russell, Angela Lansbury, and Lucille Ball. But taking Mame from page to stage to screen proved to be a ride as wild as any of her fictional parties. There were fired writers, demanding stars, and a few lawsuits as well as moments of true genius, sheer luck, and career-making triumphs.

In this loving, exhaustively researched tribute to the world's favorite madcap aunt, confirmed "Mame-ophile" Richard Tyler Jordan shares fascinating behind-the-scenes stories from such Broadway and Hollywood luminaries as original Broadway producers Robert Fryer and Lawrence Carr, playwrights Robert E. Lee and Jerome Lawrence, and musical theatre legend Jerry Herman, as well as remembrances from cast members, screenwriters, producers, family members, and stars.

Filled with fascinating, never-before-told tales of Broadway and Hollywood's Golden Age, warm anecdotes, insider gossip, and heartbreaking moments, But Darling, I'm Your Auntie Mame! is a book as effervescent and unforgettable as the grand dame herself, and one no Mame buff should be without!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Auntie Mame indisputably belongs to the pantheon of modern theatrical creations who have ascended from character to archetype, the grand old dame who initiates her young nephew into the joys of life in the big city. Generations of fans are certain to delight in this slight but entertaining anecdotal history of Auntie Mame's theatrical journey from a bestselling novel by Patrick Dennis to stage play to film (Auntie Mame) to Broadway musical and then film version of the musical (Mame). Jordan, a senior publicist at Walt Disney Studios, takes readers through the birthing process of each of these productions, filling his pages with reminiscences from those who lived them. The original play revived Rosalind Russell's faltering career; later, the musical did the same for Angela Lansbury. Judy Garland was interested in replacing Angela Lansbury when she departed after 775 performances, but the producers feared that Garland, who was brilliant in her audition, could not manage eight shows a week. When casting the movie version of Mame, Lucille Ball, who had a huge "Q" rating (public awareness level), was cast despite the apprehension of many theater and film people. Their fears were well taken: the reviews for the film in general and Ball in particular were scathing. Filled with wonderful anecdotes and backstage gossip, this is a colorful overview of how a now-classic play and musical, after some near-misses along the way, came to life. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758204820
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xiii
Preface xvii
Chapter 1 Auntie Mame on Broadway 1
Chapter 2 Getting Roz 9
Chapter 3 The Making of a Hit Play 23
Chapter 4 A Star Is Reborn 57
Chapter 5 Auntie Mame in Hollywood 79
Chapter 6 Mame: The Broadway Musical 101
Chapter 7 From Rehearsal to Opening Night 126
Chapter 8 Mame: The Movie Musical 152
Chapter 9 The Real Auntie Mame 172
Chapter 10 Patrick Dennis: Auntie Mame's Creator 180
Chapter 11 Mame for Television 189
Chapter 12 Auntie Mame, Too? 213
Appendix A Auntie Mame on Broadway: Cast List 225
Appendix B Auntie Mame--Warner Bros. (1958) Cast List 228
Appendix C Mame on Broadway: Cast List 231
Appendix D Mame--Warner Bros. (1974) Cast List 234
Appendix E Books by Patrick Dennis 237
Appendix F The Plays of Lawrence and Lee 238
Appendix G The Musicals of Jerry Herman 239
Index 241
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2006

    But Darling, I Can't Edit

    This is a fun and interesting read for fans of the book, play, and/or musical. Lots of photos, tidbits & trivia, and an interesting look at the casting of the star. However, this is a book in serious need of an editor. Typos galore! How did this get published?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2004

    OUSTANDING photo-filled update (includes Cher/Barbra/Bette)

    I'm so thankful that Kensington has republished this wonderful, long out-of-print treasure and went several steps beyond by having the author UPDATE the book. We now have a fuller picture of the recent battles to bring AUNTIE MAME to the big and small screen with Richard Jordan detailing all the initial interest, demands for script changes, and collapse of various projects when scripts were written (and REWRITTEN) for actresses like Angela Lansbury, Goldie Hawn, Whoopi Goldberg, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Cher. Jordan not only read many of the scripts--which range from misguided (Goldie Hawn's script would have been set in the 60s and present day) to the glorious. BUT DARLING... is filled with great B&W photos and whether you're a fan of the Rosalind Russell AUNTIE MAME or even the Lucille Ball musical MAME (did you know Madeline Kahn was fired from that film by Lucy?), there's plenty of gossip and deep affection for the creators (not only Patrick Dennis but Jerome Lawrence, Robert E. Lee and Jerry Herman). A fascinating, enlightening tale of the evolution of this eternal gay icon who told us to 'Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquette and most poor suckers are starving to death!' The perfect gift for movie and theatre buffs.

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