By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
“Mame,” the musical about a boy who’s raised by a wildly fun and eccentric aunt, opens Thursday at the Palace Theatre, a production of the Warehouse Living Arts Center.
Providing both dramatic and musical direction is David Timmerman, the long-time choir director for Navarro College and Corsicana High School. This is his third time to direct “Mame” for a local stage
“Every one is different,” he said of the various productions. “The last one was back when I was at Navarro, in around 1999.”
Although some of the performers will be familiar to local audiences, for example, Cristin Denbow is playing the lead role, there are also some new faces taking the stage.
“These are people the community has not seen before,” Timmerman said.
Among the performers are also directors and choir teachers professionally, including Samantha Clayborn, drama instructor at Collins Middle School; and Mike Huffstetler, choir director at Corsicana High School; and Catherine Johnson, who shares the part of Vera Charles with Carlie Gehle.
“It’s really neat to have some new faces on stage,” Timmerman said.
Although it’s one of the Warehouse’s biggest productions of the year, it will only be performed four times — 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.
Having it at the Palace means more room for sets, big production numbers on the larger stage, and a larger audience.
“You can seat 500 people. We can seat more people in four nights than in 10 nights over here,” explained Sandra Mahood, executive director of the Warehouse. “It just makes it a lot easier on the actors, the orchestra and everybody.”
The Warehouse started doing the big musical productions at the Palace around 2006, with “Oklahoma.” Before that, it was a struggle to produce some of the musicals they did on the smaller stage. Still, they did them, including “Annie,” “42nd Street,” “Man of La Mancha,” and more.
Because of the wide variety of Mame’s adventures, there are numerous elaborate sets and costume changes.
“The sets are fantastic,” Mahood said. “I’m thinking this is the biggest musical we’ve ever done since I’ve been here.”
Ticket prices are $15 for the first floor, or $10 for the balcony seats. Reservations are available by calling the box office at (903) 872-5421.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com