Amy Lamé’s Mama Cass Family Singers
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 25–Sat 27 Oct
‘I came up with the idea of a misremembered memoir which is what the show is,’ says Amy Lamé of her one-woman show Mama Cass Family Singers. ‘A lot of it is real, some of it’s made up, but it’s all presented as if it’s 100% truthful. I leave it up to the audience to decide what they believe in and what they don’t.’
The show is a mélange of fact, fiction, truth, lies, honesty and dishonesty, a big family-sized meal of dysfunction, reaching from 60s America right through to today. The story follows Lamé and her siblings, the members of a chubby and successful children’s rock’n’roll band as they tour the States, and the tale blows to pieces the greatest rock’n’roll myth of them all: that Mama Cass died by choking on a ham sandwich. Lamé’s family members also star in the show, via confessional video pieces that are shown throughout the performance. As Lamé points out, these clips brought to the surface many issues that they had suppressed over the years.
‘For some reason I turn the camera on and they are there and having their Oprah moment. It’s like every person in America grows up believing that one day they will make it on to Jerry Springer. So this is their Jerry Springer moment, this is their Oprah Winfrey moment, this is their confessional. But it’s all about them.’
Food plays a big part in the Lamé family saga. It forms the backbone of the story, touching on the media’s misrepresentation of the Cass legend and also the effect food has had on their family as a whole. ‘While I was growing up our mother just fed us too much and she fed us all the wrong things,’ laughs Lamé. ‘She was trying to show us love and I think that’s what moms do, they show their love through food. We had a lot of love and we had a lot of food.’