Mack and Mabel - NODA Review

This is a musical tragedy rather than the usual musical comedy, it is based on the book by Michael Stewart with the wonderful music of Jerry Herman.  The show centres on a man rather than a woman or a couple.  This is the story about the rise and fall of Mack Sennett a real life silent movie legend.  Driven by passion, determination and callousness, he is a bully and a liar but even so everyone stayed loyal to him.  Told in a flashback Sennet is reminiscing, he is now broke and about to lose his studio as the story unfolds.

Gerard Marescaux was utterly convincing as Mack Sennett, he gave an outstanding performance extracting both humour and pathos from this very demanding role.  Mabel Normand, (Becki Thompson) sang beautifully and portrayed her character with confidence and panache.  Together they delivered this tragic love story as Mabel is consumed by drugs and alcohol, but unfortunately she dies before Mack can marry her.

Lottie Ames, (Cathryn Riley) an old friend of Mack’s produced an effervescent and slick performance especially in her number “Tap Your Troubles Away”, she is the one who convinces Mack that he needs Mabel.  Henry Foulkes as Charlie Chaplin required good acting ability, timing and movement, this he had in spades.

All other principles performed their roles with ease and competence.  Lots of wonderful songs including “I Won’t Send Roses” and “Look What Happened To Mabel” just to mention two.

The show was full of Bathing Belles, extremely funny Keystone Cops and Custard Pies were also on the menu.

An ambitious choice of show, but they more than rose to the challenge.  Well done everyone both on stage and off.  Sincere Congratulations.

Jacqui Hartley, NODA Rep District 10

HLOSMack and Mabel