Emmy Award-winning comedienne Vicki Lawrence, one of the most beloved television personalities of her generation, has taken her most endearing character, Mama, out of the closet, dusted off her sensible shoes and hit the road with her new touring production, Vicki Lawrence AND MAMA: A TWO-WOMAN SHOW. Lawrence, who created the Mama character after being plucked out of total obscurity as a high school senior to become part of the now-legendary cast of the Carol Burnett Show, brings Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two Woman Show to the stage of the Union County Performing Arts Center tonight, November 3 at 8 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now at $69.50, $52.50, $45.50 & $39.50 (prices include all fees); call the UC PAC box office at 732-499-8226, or visit www.ucpac.org.
"I went to the Harvard School of Comedy in front of America," says Ms. Lawrence of her Burnett Show training. In the seventh season, and hundreds of hilarious sketches later, at the ripe, old age of 24, Vicki created Thelma Harper, or "Mama" as she is better known to her fans. After the Burnett Show, Vicki went on to star in Mama's Family, which consistently topped the ratings for its entire six-year run of original shows. "Mama" has attained almost a cult status among her legions of loyal television viewers, who still enjoy her in reruns twice daily throughout most of the country and the world.
No stranger to television, Vicki and her Burnett-crony Tim Conway were coupled as parents on CBS-TV’s Yes Dear, where their popularity garnered that sitcom its highest ratings. Vicki perfected her hosting skills on her own daytime talk show, appropriately called Vicki!, from 1992 to 1994. She received critical acclaim when she was the only talk show host since Oprah to be nominated for a Daytime Emmy in her freshman year. Most recently she had recurring role on the popular Hannah Montana, as Hannah’s Grandma Stewart.
The unprecedented ratings for the Carol Burnett Showstopper Special, which delighted more than 50 million viewers, convinced Ms. Lawrence that the time is right for Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two-Woman Show.
Ms. Lawrence will take the stage first. "My new show will not be a retrospective," she explains. “The show is a mixture of stand-up comedy, music and my observations about real life.” The multi-talented entertainer is mostly known for her acting and comedic talents, but she also earned a gold record for the 1973 hit, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.”
“I think people will get a kick out of the things Mama has an opinion about. We’re creating new material with a more modern and cutting edge. Where Mama is concerned, expect the unexpected. There’s really nothing she can’t do,” she says. “I hope people will be pleasantly surprised by a side of Vicki they may never have seen…I know they will be looking forward to Mama, and for her part, that crazy old gal will be up to the challenge.”
This is not Vicki’s first foray into theater. She has appeared in numerous productions, including Carousel, Send Me No Flowers, No, No, Nanette, My Fat Friend, Chapter Two, Twigs, Hello Dolly, Special Occasions, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It ON The Road, Annie Get Your Gun and live from the Grand Ole Opry, Nunsense 3: The Jamboree which aired on TNN. Most recently she appeared in the Vagina Monologues.
More info on Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two-Woman Show at www.vickilawrence.com.
TICKETS: Available at the UCPAC Box Office at 732-499-8226 or online at UCPAC.org. The UCPAC Box Office, located at 1601 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ, is open Monday through Friday from 11AM until 5PM and also open late on Thursdays until 8PM.
LOCATION: Located in the heart of the Rahway Arts District, Union County Performing Arts Center is within walking distance of the Rahway NJ Transit train station and can be reached by taking exit 135 from the Garden State Parkway or exit 12 from the NJ Turnpike. Parking is available downtown at the Rahway Parking Garage.
ABOUT UNION COUNTY PAC: The Union County Performing Arts Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation operating in the historic Rahway Theatre, originally built in 1928. With 1,300 seats, the Union County PAC is one of the largest theatres in Union County. The Arts Center provides barrier-free access and seating for patrons upon request. Programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.