re: MACK AND MABEL Full Production in Los Angeles
Posted by: Randolph 12:48 pm EST 02/19/24
In reply to: MACK AND MABEL Full Production in Los Angeles - bicoastal 09:42 pm EST 02/18/24

Saw it Saturday night. A mixed bag, but glad I saw it. More fully staged than the "concert" advertising led you to believe. My first time seeing any production of "Mack and Mabel".

Highlights: Caroline O'Connor and the choreography, which brought things to life, especially in the big act two numbers. The production values were higher than expected for a first outing from a new company. The orchestra and ensemble were strong.

Lowlights: Dermot Mulroney's singing, although you couldn't help but admire the effort. He's not a singer and the role requires a lot of it. How he became involved in this production is a head-scratcher. As mentioned above, he never seemed fully at ease on stage. Still, he managed to get through it and it felt like the audience was on his side.

The show itself: The story is quite dark, but the Jerry Herman "showbiz" packaging doesn't seem to match. It's hard to get behind a love story that's obviously doomed from the start. Some nice ballads, but the uptempo numbers all sounded similar to me. Mabel's sudden substance abuse comes out of nowhere. Felt long (found myself checking the program and my watch more than once). With the right casting (Bernadette Peters must have been perfect) and a better book, I can see it being more successful, but as is, I can understand why it wasn't a huge success.

Hoping this new theatre company succeeds. It was sold out Saturday night.

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