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Mack & Mabel

From 88 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 (88)


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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Fluffy, Great singing, Delightful

See it if you want to hear this gorgeous score expertly played and sung.

Don't see it if you're expecting a modern musical or don't like down beat endings.

Also While overall a fine production, it seems the held back on choreograph... Read more Read less

For the musical lover, Nostalgic, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if Fun romp in old fashioned traditional musical territory-- great singing & dancing, performances, and costumes--all that you would hope

Don't see it if This IS Encores--a great band, classic show, so-so sets, and some stellar performances with a chance to revisit something people yearn for

Also This show, in particular, has been anticipated for a long time--and al... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great singing, Dated

See it if Finally get to “see” the songs.

Don't see it if Clumsy ... could update the book and make it something compelling

Good dancing, Dated, Nice music, Flat, Disappointing

See it if you want to hear a Jerry Herman score. Encores orchestra sounds great as always. Act 2 better than act 1.

Don't see it if you want a strong book or to see leads who have chemistry. This fell flat for me, unfortunately.

Also There was no evidence of chemistry between Sills and Socha. She didn't... Read more Read less

Uneven tones, Great score, Nice staging, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a fine and energetic staging of a show with a great score but uneven book. Alex and Lilli are also fantastic.

Don't see it if Doug Sills is not up to the task in terms of acting or singing for the male lead role.

Great dancing, Great singing, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if Sublime Jerry Herman score about silent films and doomed relationship between director Sennet and Mabel his star. Great ensemble well done

Don't see it if Book is a little messy and this is sad tale mixed with some of the most beautiful torch stings - Time Heals Everything and I Won’t Send Rose

Also Based on real life events this has everything - Keystone cops, pies in... 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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