Semi Staged. Auntie Mame may be a well-known title, but the play that inspired a musical and two movies has not been seen here since its original production, which starred Beatrice Lillie. Rosalind Russell was Auntie Mame on Broadway and in the movie of the play, which in America is regarded as a classic. Based on Patrick Dennis's best-selling novel about his own wildly eccentric aunt, the play was made into a hugely successful Jerry Herman musical, starring Angela Lansbury in New York and Ginger Rogers in London, and then a movie of the musical, which starred Lucille Ball. The swift, slashing comedy of the original play will be a revelation to those who know only the more leisurely musical.