The Scarlet Pimpernel's Douglas Sills and "Ally McBeal"'s Jane Krakowski will be Jerry Herman's Mack and Mabel Nov. 8-19 at University of California Los Angeles's Freud Playhouse. Donna McKechnie co-stars as Lottie. Arthur Allan Seidelman, who directed 1999's Ovation nominated Reprise! production of The Boys From Syracuse, as well as the Broadway revivals of The Most Happy Fella and Vieux Carre, helms this second Reprise! show in the series season.
Sills was nominated for a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award as the title character in The Scarlet Pimpernel, a role he recently reprised at the Ahmanson Theatre. Known for playing Elaine on "Ally McBeal," Krakowski originated the role of Flaemmchen in Grand Hotel (Tony and Drama Desk nominations) and performed on Broadway in Company, Tartuffe and Starlight Express.
McKechnie won a Tony Award for portraying Cassie in A Chorus Line. Other Broadway credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, On the Town, Promises, Promises, Company and State Fair.
Based on the true story of "Keystone Cops" director and Charlie Chaplin producer Mack Sennett and actress Mabel Normand, Mack & Mabel features the Herman songs "Time Heals Everything," "When Movies Were Movies," "Tap Your Troubles Away" and "I Won't Send Roses." Mack opened Oct. 6, 1974 at Broadway's Majestic Theatre with Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters in the leads, but closed after a mere 66 performances. A 1995 revival starring Howard McGillin and Caroline O'Connor made a hit in London and featured a revised book by Francine Pascal, sister of original librettist Michael Stewart. She will revise it again for the Reprise! staging.
Dan Siretta is choreographer. Peter Matz is the musical director. The Freud Playhouse is located in UCLA's Macgowan Hall. Call (310) 825-2101 or Ticketmaster Fine Arts Line for information.
As a special fund-raiser for the Reprise! series, Jerry Herman will open his own home for "An Afternoon at Jerry Herman's." The Tony Award winning composer of Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles will feature celebrity entertainment and an awards ceremony as ASCAP honors Herman for the creation of a new musical theatre educational program, The ASCAP Foundation Jerry Herman Legacy Series.
-- By Christine Ehren