Ludlowe’s ‘Mame’ brings glitz, colorful characters to the stage
FAIRFIELD — A blend of upbeat dance numbers and sequined dresses unfurling around an eccentric Broadway star, undercut by lessons on family and friendship will hit the stage in Fairfield this weekend.
Fairfield Ludlowe High School is staging the lively musical, “Mame,” the story of the title character raising her nephew, Patrick, and navigating life’s ups and downs. The show is a classic with a modern feel, thanks to the main character’s welcoming tone and dislike of all things restricted and exclusive, director and English teacher Frances Kondziela said.
“I think the message is great,” she said, adding she chose the musical for its fun story, humor and great music. “She loves people. She loves the people who are different, who are fun.”
In Kondziela’s view, that message mirrors the drama club itself — that all are welcome.
Senior Avery Bebon, who steps into the musical’s female lead as Mame Dennis, has 13 costume changes — from sequins to feathers to fur — during the show and is in nearly every scene. Bebon has long loved the character and used to watch the movie version every Mother’s Day with her mom.
See the show
Showtimes are Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the door or reserved ahead by contacting Frances Kondziela at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I hope (the attendees) take away a lot of laughs,” the 18-year-old said. “I think it’s a story of surrounding yourself with people that care about you and that look out for your best interests.”
“Not just direct family,” the junior added, “but take in the people you surround yourself with. Take them under your wing.”
Junior Meghan Gutierrez is in her second year leading costume direction for Ludlowe’s spring musical. For “Mame,” the 16-year-old was inspired by the time period of the show, which spans from the Roaring ’20s through the Great Depression and after.
“I grew up acting and doing theater myself, and I wanted to take a step back from that,” Gutierrez said, “and then I fell in love with (costume design).”
Given the time span the musical covers, two actors are needed to play Mame’s beloved nephew, with freshman Alex Bow portraying the younger version.
“It was an amazing experience,” the 15-year-old said.
About 100 students are involved in the cast, crew and orchestra for the show. When it hits the stage Friday and Saturday, Kondziela hopes the audience will enjoy the uplifting songs and fun, but meaningful, show.
“I hope they have a good time,” she said. “It’s a tough time in the world. I think it’s an uplifting show in many ways.”
Senior Isabella Lombardo said the show’s big musical numbers will be fun for the audience to see, thanks to the cast’s joy and love of being on stage shining through.
“It’s really funny,” said the 17-year-old, who plays Agnes Gooch, Mame’s personal secretary and nanny-in-law. “It has a lot of musical numbers, and they’re all big, ensemble numbers.”