Working Management in association with Hayes Theatre Co have announced the first Sydney professional production of Jerry Herman’s Mack and Mabel, which will play a strictly limited season at Hayes Theatre Co from 18 November 2016.
A dazzling musical comedy that is both a poignant love story and a joyous celebration of Hollywood’s golden age, Mack and Mabel is based on the real-life tumultuous romantic relationship between early 1900s legendary filmmaker Mack Sennett and accidental starlet Mabel Normand.
This 1974 musical is delivered in flashback from the point of view of Mack, who admits to two obsessions: movies and Mabel Normand. He is the struggling director in the early 20th century, when the fun of the silent screen was dominated by the hysterical chaos of The Keystone Cops and the glamour of the Bathing Beauties; a world where heroes wore capes, girls were tied to the railway tracks and it all ended with a pie in the face.
She is the girl from the deli who erupts on to the set with a sandwich delivery. Mack spots potential and Mabel becomes a star. Spanning the years from 1911 to 1938, the show charts their rise and fall, both professionally and romantically.
Awarded eight Tony Award nominations when it first opened, it features an outstanding score by Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly!, La Cage aux Folles) including classic Broadway hits, I Won’t Send Roses, Tap Your Troubles Away, Movies Were Movies, Look What Happened to Mabel, Wherever He Ain’t and Time Heals Everything.
Originated by Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters, the powerhouse roles of Mack and Mabel in the Australian production will be played by Scott Irwin (Helpmann Award nominee for Hairspray, High Society) and rising star Angelique Cassimatis (Little Shop of Horrors, The Rocky Horror Show). Full cast to be announced soon. After the huge success of Heathers the Musical, acclaimed actor Trevor Ashley (Helpmann Award nominee for Les Miserables, Hairspray) returns to the director’s chair.
“I’m excited to be directing Mack and Mabel in what is its first full professional production in Sydney,” says Ashley. “It’s a great piece, with a score written by the master of the showtune, Jerry Herman, and features so many classic songs that I can’t wait to hear Scott and Angelique deliver.”
“It’s a huge coup to have Scott Irwin take on Mack, the gruff movie mogul, especially as we’ve been onstage together in Hairspray for almost 400 performances. He’ll be utterly charming. And as for Angelique: she is a star on the rise, and it’s very special to give her a vehicle to show her incredible talents, especially in knockout numbers like Wherever He Ain’t and Time Heals Everything.”
Ashley continues to say that he is “excited to see the brilliant tap numbers that Cameron Mitchell, whose clever and energetic choreography featured so heavily in Heathers, will create and for the Hayes to be transformed into a mini soundstage helping to conjure up the magic of the movies from a bygone era. Together with our fabulous designers Ross Wallace and Angie White, we’re hoping to take you back to the twenties and to the silent movies of Mack Sennett’s world.”
Producer Wendy Richards adds “I couldn’t be more excited than to get the Heathers team back together again for this fabulous dose of old style Hollywood glam and romance, with cracking tap numbers and songs.”
Director: Trevor Ashley Musical Director: Bev Kennedy Choreographer: Cameron Mitchell Lighting Designer: Gavan Swift Sound Designer: Neil McLean Set Designer: Ross Wallace Costume Designer: Angela White
Mack and Mabel
Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point
Season: 18 November – 18 December 2016
Information and Bookings: www.hayestheatre.com.au (tickets on sale Tuesday 20 September 2016)
Image: Scott Irwin and Angelique Cassimatis to star in Mack & Mabel – photo by Kurt Sneddon