Patrick Dennis’ 1955 bestseller Auntie Mame was such an instant success that no time was wasted adapting the novel for stage and screen. With Rosalind Russell in the title role, Auntie Mame opened on Broadway in 1957, earning several Tony nominations and a win for Peggy Cass, who stole the show as Agnes Gooch. The following year, the movie Auntie Mame, became the highest grossing film of 1958. In a nutshell: Life-loving oddball Mame Dennis becomes the legal guardian of her deceased brother’s son Patrick. In the months that follow his arrival, Patrick learns everything from how to sketch a nude model to how to mix a perfect martini (without bruising the gin) thanks to a progressive school and Mame’s eccentric lifestyle. Punctuated by the financial woes associated with Black Monday, Mame explores life’s endless possibilities through the eyes of one of the most quoted characters in the camp canon. “Yes! Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!” Timothy Hedgepeth directs Anna Gangai as Mame Dennis in the beloved musical version of Mame at the San Pedro Playhouse through February 20. $13-$23, 8pm Fri, Jan 28; 8pm Sat, Jan 29; 2:30pm Sun, Jan 30; San Pedro Playhouse’s Russell Hill Rogers Theater, 800 W Ashby, (210) 733-7258, sanpedroplayhouse.com.
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