Baldwin student performers add modern touches to ‘Mame’
Baldwin High School students will whisk audiences away with a celebration of acceptance and inclusion, as they perform a classic musical theater production, “Mame,” from April 10 to 13.
“It’s an oldie, but we’re adding modern touches to it. It’s fun,” said senior Sarah Doran, 17, who plays Agnes Gooch. “Just the overall theme of the show is great — living your best life.”
Baldwin, which has been known in recent years for doing shows that are different from what every school around is doing, will perform the female-heavy show about strong women created by the same writers who wrote “Hello, Dolly!”
The show centers around Mame, a woman ahead of her time who has friends from all walks of life and suddenly becomes a mother when she inherits her orphan nephew, said director Jason Coll.
“She has no instincts about being a mother but knows that she wants to show him the world,” he said. “It celebrates all walks of life.”
“Mame” was the first high school musical Coll ever directed, 21 years ago at Seton LaSalle High School. He looks back fondly on that performance and said the message holds even truer in today’s society.
Of course, the show at Baldwin will be different than the one he directed two decades ago.
“High school musicals are more sophisticated than (they were) 21 years ago,” he said. “High school musicals don’t always look like high school musicals anymore. So you raise the bar.”
At Baldwin, what makes the show special is the students and the energy and talent they bring, cast members say.
“I don’t know what it is about our musicals, but something just feels electric about it,” Doran said. “Everyone here loves, loves, loves, loves, loves what they’re doing. You can tell they’re putting their whole heart into it.”
Senior Alexa Trimbur, 17, who plays Vera Charles, said it’s the dedication of the cast and crew that makes the show stand out. That, and the story.
“In every single number, everyone gives 100 percent, and it just makes it super fun,” added senior Morgan Traud, 18, who plays Mame.
The songs and choreography will have audience members tapping their feet and singing along, Traud said. The show goes from large production numbers to “very sentimental and sweet songs, which I really love,” she said.
The show features some cool effects, such as Traud flying on top of the moon — literally.
There’s also a lot of humor.
“It is hilarious,” Traud said. “There are so many numbers that the crowd…won’t be able to breathe because they’ll be laughing so hard.”