"World, Take Me Back": 12 Musicals Due for a Broadway Revival

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02 Aug 2014

12. Mack & Mabel

Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart's 1974 flop has been revived and concertized numerous times around the world, but has yet to be brought back to Broadway. Conventional wisdom would have it that if the show couldn't make it with Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters, the show's never gonna make it. While it's true probably no one will ever be as distinctive and compelling in the title roles as Preston and Peters, I think 1974 was the wrong time for an ultimately heartbreaking story of failure and drug addiction to succeed on Broadway, let alone in the form of an old-fashioned Jerry Herman musical (perhaps such a tale would have been better received musicalized by Sondheim). Times have changed. The period style is no longer unhip, it's a genre. And the dark plot is in keeping with contemporary tastes. And that score—"I Won't Send Roses," "Look What Happened To Mabel," "Wherever He Ain't," "Time Heals Everything" and several others are among the most memorable theatre songs ever written.


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