Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"I Was Never in the Chorus"

I post this rare shot of Anne Francine and Angela Lansbury performing "Bosom Buddies" in Mame for my own Moon Lady and fervent Mame/Lansbury enthusiast, Sarah, who I think will appreciate this more than anyone else. In talking about the character of Vera Charles with a friend of mine, I decided to google image Ms. Francine and lo and behold, this shot popped up. Francine, born into a wealthy Main Line Philadelphia family, was a noted actress and sophisticated nightclub singer who replaced Tony-winner Bea Arthur as eternally inebriated Vera about a year into the original run. She toured with Lansbury in 1968 and subsequently returned for the remainder of the show's Broadway run . She also reprised the role in the short-lived revival, again with Angie, in 1983. She considered this the favorite role of her career. Other Broadway appearances included By the Beautiful Sea, Tenderloin, The Great Sebastians and the 1987 Lincoln Center revival of Anything Goes. Her film work was scarce (she was in Juliet of the Spirits, The Savages and Crocodile Dundee); however, some of you may recognize her as Barbara Eden's archnemesis Flora Simpson Reilly on the TV series "Harper Valley, PTA."

Now, getting down to business, who should play Vera in the next revival...?


paul said...

This is kind of farout, but wouldn't Charles Bush be great as Vera. He has so nailed that period and has the sophistication and style to pull it off. Saw him in a staged reading of "Auntie Mame", and, boy, did he give Ros Russell some competition.

SarahB said...

I do appreciate this more than anyone else.