Mack & Mabel — with Soul and Dee — to Begin Previews at London's Criterion April 5

News   Mack & Mabel — with Soul and Dee — to Begin Previews at London's Criterion April 5
Following a U.K. tour and a previous production at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, John Doyle's production of Mack & Mabel will begin previews at London's Criterion Theatre April 5 with an official opening April 10.

The 16-week engagement, co-starring David Soul and Janie Dee in the title roles, will also feature actor-musicians Richard Brightiff, Tomm Coles, Robert Cousins, Michelle Long, Robin Pirongs, John Trenchard, Simon Tuck, Sarah Whittuck and Matthew Woodytatt.

The creative team comprises Sarah Travis (orchestrations and musical supervision), Mark Bailey (set and costume design), Richard G. Jones (lighting design) and Gary Dixon (sound design).

"When ‘hash-slinger’ Mabel Normand turns up on the set of film-maker Mack Sennett, creator of the Keystone Cops," reads production notes, "she catches his eye and soon captures his heart. Before long, Mabel is starring in Sennett’s two-reelers and together they bring magic to the silver screen."

David Soul, who may best be known for his starring role in TV's "Starsky & Hutch," was previously on the West End stage in Jerry Springer: The Opera, Blood Brothers and Comic Potential.

Janie Dee won the Olivier Award for her performance as Jacie Tripplethree in Comic Potential, a role she also played at New York's Manhattan Theatre Club. Her many other theatrical credits include Carousel, The Woman of Troy, Johnny on a Spot, Betrayal, Design for Living and Much Ado About Nothing. Director John Doyle is currently represented on Broadway with the acclaimed revival of Sweeney Todd and in Cincinnati with the Cincinnati Playhouse's production of Company. Doyle has been the director of several theatres, including the Swan, the Everyman and the Theatre Royal.

Robert Preston created the role of director Mack Sennett and Bernadette Peters was actress Mabel Normand in the 1974 biographical musical that flopped but lived on in the hearts of fans via a cast album that preserved and promoted such tunes as "I Won't Send Roses," "Time Heals Everything," "Big Time," "Tap Your Troubles Away," "Hundreds of Girls" and "When Mabel Comes in the Room." The musical, which features a score by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, was previously seen in London in 1995 with a cast led by Howard McGillin and Caroline O'Connor.

Mack & Mabel will play Monday-Saturday evenings at 7:45 PM and Tuesdays and Saturdays at 3 PM. Tickets, priced £15-£45, are available by calling 0870 060 2313.

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