Sunday, May 4, 2014

In the Wings: Mame. Meet Jo Gelfand.

Jo Gelfand plays Agnes Gooch in Mame, the fifth and final show in the 2013-2014 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. Jerry Herman wrote the music and lyrics. Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee wrote the book based on the novel "Auntie Mame" by Patrick Dennis.

Question: Why did you audition for the musical?
Jo Gelfand: Oh my God, this is my Bucket List show. I have wanted to do this show since I saw Angela Lansbury perform in a touring company performance in Indianapolis in the 1970s. She kicked just as high as any chorus member. Forty years ago I said, "I want to do this show someday." So I'm doing it, and I'm so happy and excited.

Q: Who is Agnes Gooch and what is she like?
J.G.: She defines herself as Mame's nanny-in-law. She is the mousy little lady who has been charged with getting young Patrick Dennis to Mame, who is his only living relative. The thing that bothers me about this role is that I went into my own closet to pull clothing for Agnes. I'm wearing my shoes, my coat, one of my dresses, one of my skirts and two of my sweaters.

Q: What makes your life a banquet?
J.G.: As Gooch says, "I have stuffed myself." I am a dabbler. I excel at nothing, but I dabble in a lot of different things and I get a huge amount of satisfaction from that. I'm not the best singer, I'm not the best dancer, I'm not the best actress, I'm not the best drummer, I'm not the best viola player. But the fulfillment I've gotten from doing these different things has fed me all these years.

Mame runs Friday, May 9 through Sunday, May 11 at Sunnyside Intermediate School, 530 N. 26th Street in Lafayette. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday show begins at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for youth age 18 and under. Call 765-423-7529 or visit to learn about ticket availability or to purchase tickets in advance.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

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