Mack and Mabel poster 2017

Mack & Mabel (2017)

Mack & Mabel, originally released in 1974 (Michael Stewart’s book was revised for this version in 2015 by his sister Francine Pascal), is a fabrication of fact and fiction – delivered in flashback from the point of view of Mack Sennett (1880-1960).

Mack admits to two obsessions: movies and Mabel Normand (1892-1930). He is the struggling director in the teens of the 20th century, who transplants his studio “family” to California, sets up Keystone Studios and rat-a-tats out slapstick two-reelers. She is the girl from the deli who erupts on to the set with a sandwich delivery. Mack spots potential. Mabel becomes a star.

They fall in love, but he’s not romantic (“I won’t send roses”); she is (dreamily reprising this declaration of non-commitment). He wants “to make the world laugh”; she wants acting to be more than pratfalls and guffaws. Artistic differences tear them apart – spectacularly when Mabel’s on-set explosion sets off a custard-pie fight! She leaves to make feature films; he launches the Bathing Beauties, Keystone Cops and a thousand pie-in-the-face gags: “No one pretended that what we were doing was art.”

With spectacular production numbers and recreations of iconic silent film scenes mixed with a healthy dose of laughs, romance, action and tragedy – topped off with the genius of Gerry Herman’s score – this show is pure entertainment.

forbidden broadway poster 2017

Forbidden Broadway Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (2017)

This year’s spring production was a departure from the “norm” with our presentation of “Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 1”. For those who know, the Forbidden Broadway team affectionately send-up of many of musical theatre’s most popular shows.

Chita Rivera and Rita Moreno battle it out over which of them was the best Anita in West Side Story. The Phantom of the Opera is advised to ditch his radio mic and use his diaphragm by none other than Ethel Merman. Spending night after night as downtrodden peasants is taking its toll on the cast of Les Miserables, while Eponine reveals how she kills time between scenes. Finally we discover how Sir Cameron Mackintosh made his name as the Napoleon of Broadway.

And there is so much more in this hilarious review, set to the legendary tunes we all know and love.

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© Broughty Ferry Amateur Operatic Society, 2022