She does, however, sing, as Invisible Theatre audiences know from her years of warbling roles, especially her fine rendering of country great Patsy Cline in the musical Always-- Patsy Cline. And singing is what McMahon does this weekend, in the IT summer showcase Hooray for Hollywood, billed as an "all-new musical salute to a century of film."
"It's a revue of great songs from the movies," she explains, "80 years of film tunes."
McMahon is not alone, though. The two-hour tribute features an ensemble cast of seven, including such familiar IT faces as Jack Neubeck, Betty Craig, Phyllis Goodman and Stuart Moulton, the singer-dancer-choreographer-female impersonator. Moulton's not abandoning his familiar Carol Channing blond wig and slinky dress, but he's adding a new turn this year as Carmen Miranda, fruit headdress and all. The two showy ladies, says McMahon, will appear in turn, with Miranda belting out "I-Yi-Yi-Yi-Yi."
And if McMahon won't dance, there are others who will. Stacey Johnson and Marc Arthur, singers and dancers both, take to the dance floor, sashaying through some Ginger Rogers-Fred Astaire numbers, among others. Pianist Jeffrey Haskell, a UA music professor and the musical director for the show, strolls the ivories for every piece.
"It's very much a cabaret feel," says McMahon. "It's not something you see frequently in Tucson."
The songs run the gamut from Al Jolson's "Blue Skies" all the way up to Disney tunes, including "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio, and the Mary Poppins songs "Chim-Chiminee" and "A Spoonful of Sugar." Disney, McMahon opines, is "keeping music alive in the movies now."
McMahon, who prides herself on a voice of "big range," says one of her favorites is "The Man That Got Away," a Judy Garland number from A Star Is Born. Also on the program, directed by IT artistic director Susan Claassen: the Rodgers and Hart song "Isn't It Romantic?" from the 1938 film Love Me Tonight; a tribute to The Wizard of Oz, of the same era; and "Anything Goes," "The Good Ship Lollipop" and "A Grand Night for Singing."
Hooray for Hollywood runs for seven performances at the Doubletree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way. Showtimes are 8 p.m. this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 13 through 15, and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 16. Next weekend, curtain is at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 20 through 22. Tickets are $20. Ticket holders are eligible for a 25 percent discount on a pre-show dinner or brunch at the hotel's two restaurants. Diners get reserved seating for the performance. For show tickets call Invisible Theatre at 882-9721. For dinner reservations call the hotel at 881-4200.