Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Mack & Mabel is a romantic musical comedy based on the relationship between two of the pivotal figures of the silent film era: slapstick comedy pioneer Mack Sennett and his frequent leading lady Mabel Normand.

Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters starred as "Mack" and "Mabel"

The story begins in 1911, when Mabel shows up on Sennett's New York set as a deli delivery girl and immediately catches the director's eye. Soon she is starring in Sennett's two-reelers and she joins him when he moves his operation to the new movie capital of Hollywood.

She also joins him in a romance, one which is complicated by Sennett's dictatorial directing style. When Mabel expresses an interest in expanding into feature dramas, Sennett discourages her, leading her to leave him professionally - and personally - for slick director William Desmond Taylor.

However, Mack promises us a happy ending and after all - it is his show...

The music and lyrics for Mack and Mabel are by Jerry Herman (famous for Hello Dolly!, La Cage Aux Folles and Mame, among others.) The book is by Michael Stewart (who also worked with Herman on Hello Dolly!).

The original version of this show (which opened on Broadway in 1974) was not a financial success. Despite receiving eight Tony Award nominations, it only ran for 66 performances. The version that The Players are presenting is a major revision by Francine Pascal that opened in London in 1995. This revised version has since played worldwide to rave reviews and has enjoyed long runs. The rumor persists, this revised version of Mack and Mabel is headed back to Broadway.

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