Auntie Mame

Assuring readers it wasn’t a memoir, Patrick Dennis nevertheless wrote a character named “Patrick Dennis” into his 1955 novel Auntie Mame, creating a camp archetype out of the flamboyant free spirit charged with raising her orphaned nephew. The smash novel became a play, a 1958 movie, a musical, and a movie musical, the first two starring Rosalind Russell in all her bangle-braceleted, cigarette-holder glory. Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s wisecracking screenplay has Mame enrolling young Patrick in a “progressive” school (meaning the students run around naked and play “Fish Family”) and doing her best to save grown-up Patrick from marrying lockjawed prep princess Gloria Upson (raised on an estate named Upson Downs) and vanishing into the black hole of gray-flannel suburban Connecticut—while providing countless little gay boys ever since with lessons in fabulousness. No wonder Three Dollar Bill Cinema’s chosen the film for its holiday fundraiser. Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 686-6684, www.central-cinema.com. $10-$12. 6:30 & 9:30 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT

Wed., Dec. 17, 6:30 & 9:30 p.m., 2008

 
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