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Mack & Mabel

From 101 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Great staging, Great acting

About the show

The Encores! season opens with Mack & Mabel, which tells the story of one of silent film’s first great pioneers, Mack Sennett. Starring Douglas Sills ("War Paint") and Alexandra Socha ("Head Over Heels"). More…

From the show:

The Encores! season opens with Mack & Mabel, which tells the story of one of silent film’s first great pioneers, Mack Sennett, played by Douglas Sills (War Paint, The Scarlet Pimpernel), and his first great discovery and muse, the comedienne Mabel Normand, played by Alexandra Socha (Head Over Heels, Spring Awakening). Mack makes Mabel a star and love blossoms. But Mack’s insatiable drive to succeed and Mabel’s natural vulnerability—the key to her audience appeal—turn their love affair into a high wire act with no net.


Member Reviews (101)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Great staging, Great acting
83
Avg Score

84
Interesting premise, Tuneful score, Entertaining, Great staging/choreo, Talented cast

See it if you'd like a Brdway-quality prodn of JHerman show. Some gr performances, esp'ly Socha/Cooper. Gr orchestra. After, google Sennett/Normand!

Don't see it if you want upbeat; M&M is dark. Sills disappoints (grating, pitchy); 30 yrs older (59) than Socha (29). IRL, 12 yrs diff. Romance fizzles.

75
Ok music, Great singing, Confusing, Old fashioned, Entertaining

See it if Cute old fashioned musical with nice music. Great talent. Enjoyable and entertaining.

Don't see it if Old fashioned. The main premise of love is really tough to understand and buy into. Muisc is not great.

74
Entertaining, Great singing, Classic, Old fashioned

See it if You like classic musicals, Hollywood stories and are interested in seeing a show that is rarely revived.

Don't see it if You want something more modern or edgy.

88
Great singing, Romantic, Great dancing, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy old musicals. This was fun to look at, done almost entirely in black and white. Great singing and dancing. Large talented cast.

Don't see it if You’re looking for something new or some out of the box interpretation. This is an old style musical done in old style.

Also Really well done, especially when you consider its only for one weeken... Read more Read less

79
Absorbing, Great singing, Great acting, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if Herman's impressive score is the go-to here; covering an ill-conceived Stewart book Sills, Socha, Cooper & Encores Berman provide the sparks

Don't see it if Second act doesn't deflate as much as just doesn't exist Thankfully, Rhodes staging/cheoro goes into over-time w/ requisite razzle-dazzle

80
Bleak, Superficial, Funny, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if fan of Jerry Herman, enjoy the OBC cast album of the show & want to see how it is staged, wonder if Douglas Sills still has it (he does)

Don't see it if It's not one of your favorite scores, don't like the Mabel Normand story & fact that the book isn't that accurate about her career

90
Informative, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting

See it if Early movies & complex lives of their stars intrigue you. Dark musical offers fabulous singer dancers illustrating lives of Sennet & Norman

Don't see it if You’re willing to miss the chance to see the show that ran 56 performances then inspired decades of controversy.

82
First class production of engaging musical about comedy silent film-maker mack sennet & his heart-breaking relationship w movie star mabel normand; jerry herman (great composer, clever lyricist) rest in peace

See it if wonderful score by Herman; fine choreo & dancing; w performance as Mabel, Alexandra Socha emerges as one of NY’s leading musical stars

Don't see it if weak book/show fades as relationship between M&M fades; never brings 2 life Mack making comedies or Zeitgeist of silent film era

Also Herman's great triumphs w Hello Dolly, Mame, La Cage were w shows wher... Read more Read less

90
Entertaining, Touch of early cinema, Pies in the faces, Dancing, Great singing

See it if you can a touch of early cinema history, a looking into two person who make people laugh and smile. There relationship with each other.

Don't see it if If you have no interest in the early cinema.

Also Love the silent films and laughing. Normand make a few movies, and sho... Read more Read less

82
Quirky, Dated, Clever, Great music, Great singing

See it if You love a great Jerry Herman score, want to see it since it’s rarely produced, or want to see two actors at the top of their game.

Don't see it if You dislike more complicated musicals that aren’t always light and fluffy, & one that has a problematic central romantic relationship.

92
Great writing, Great staging, Great singing, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a rarely performed musical by late great Jerry Herman. Wonderful lyrics and great character portrayal by actors.

Don't see it if you don't like musicals although in many ways this is a drama with music.

Also A very underrated show. The story of Mabel is a complex one and so is ... Read more Read less

92
Terrific score, Great staging, Great singing, Clever

See it if you love Jerry Hermann.This is a gem of a show with a great score.The performances were spot on.There were some sound and lighting problems.

Don't see it if you have no soul.

83
Great cast, energetic dancing, some fine songs, clumsy book

See it if The great Jerry Herman's 1974 flop in a top-notch, high energy Encores version. Douglas Sills is a fine Mack. Grand production numbers.

Don't see it if you're not interested in early Hollywood. The book relies too much on Mack's narration. The score has some beautiful, now-standard songs.

Also The full on-stage Encores orchestra is, as ever, sublime.

89
Great singing, Entertaining, Enchanting, Great music

See it if Like a 30's style story about filmmaking with lush music, great voices and stunning costumes

Don't see it if You are hard to please

79
Problematic book, Disappointing, Great choreo, Terrific score

See it if a fan of Jerry Herman. The music & choreo are top notch & great orchestra.. Interested in the making of silent films.. Keystone Kops etc.

Don't see it if can't overlook book problems in this serio-comic story of the ill-fated romance between Sennett & Normand. 2nd act better than 1st.

77
Fun, Good choreography, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy Encores. A fully staged show, great costumes, wonderful tap dancing. Always interesting to see a forgotten musical revived.

Don't see it if You want chemistry between the two lovers. Sills screams too much and Socha is good but miscast. Production good but book has problems.

90
Wonderful performances!, Terrible book, Exquisite

See it if closed yesterday, but this is one of Herman's best score and Sills and Socha were WONDERFUL in the leads. Best revival of a weak book.

Don't see it if this is such a 70's musical despite the score. The love story of an addict and philandering egotist. - the reason it's not revived more.

Also I wish there was a way to fix this script and relish in the score. Thi... Read more Read less

80
Great production

See it if Older man of power discovers and treats vibrant, innocent woman poorly, eventually extinguishing her fire as she gets addicted. Lovely music

Don't see it if Predictable story: he should've treated her better. Opioid addiction or gun/shots are triggering.

Also Diversity: not really. Main characters are all White. 3 side character... Read more Read less

89
Marvelous orchestrations, Great singing, Great choreography, Terrific score, Entertaining

See it if you want to see Jerry Herman's tuneful score come to life. Some great acting, singing and dancing.

Don't see it if you would be troubled by the much revised, still troublesome book. This is not a happy story, but it's beautifully performed by a great cast

81
Intelligent, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if great performers doing a great score in a show that is hard to get right. this iteration works better than in the past. it could have a life

Don't see it if want a typical boy meets girl love story. this is darker.

3
Excruciating, Banal, Dated

See it if ONLY if you are hard up for seeing a Jerry Herman musical live on stage.

Don't see it if you want to remember Jerry Herman and master of musical Theater because this production was a DISAPPOINTMENT from beginning to end.

Also In the early spring of 1996, I had the pleasure of seeing a production... Read more Read less

86
Refreshing, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Another gem from the late,great,Jerry Herman. Based on relationship between Sennett and Normand.Many great musical numbers. Cast excels.

Don't see it if This is not on the level of Hello Dolly, Mame, La Cage,but it is very entertaining. This is the first NYC revival.

89
Encores does this show proud with fantastic performances, staging, and orchestra

See it if You love classic musicals. You’re a Jerry Herman fan. (Sadly, he didn’t live to see this revival.)

Don't see it if You’re obsessed with the show’s purported book problems.

Also I think this is one of the best Encores productions I have ever seen. ... Read more Read less

84
Great score, but flawed book, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if you want to experience this rarely produced work performed by a talented cast and orchestra. This production was very entertaining

Don't see it if you need a cohesive, consistent story. Strength of this show is the music; book is a little weak. Love story needs better development

Also Ending is very sad--ironic in a story about a man who just wants to ma... Read more Read less

87
Jerry herman, Touching, Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You can overcome the sour book and just enjoy the strong production; even with so much joy and big numbers, the second act is problematic.

Don't see it if You can only tolerate even tone throughout or don’t like classical musicals.

Also This is a big show with old-fashioned numbers, even a Dolly-like shows... Read more Read less


February 20th, 2020
"Lights! Camera! Passion! Jerry Herman’s buoyant score is the highlight of this Encores! production about a troubled silent-movie-era romance."
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February 20th, 2020
"‘Mack & Mabel’ balances bright music with layers of sadness and regret"
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February 20th, 2020
"Great Songs, Great Stars, Weird Show: Alexandra Socha and Douglas Sills star in Jerry Herman's Broadway flop at New York City Center."
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February 20th, 2020
"Encores! is doing what it does best with this first-class production of Jerry Herman's foray into darkness."
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Cast & Creatives (4)