As I mentioned, there seems to be a great appreciation for Mack & Mabel in England, despite the show taking over 20 years to make it to the West End. And this version here is from that original 1995 production, with its stars.
The actor playing Mack Sennett here is Howard McGillien. After this, he came to New York where he was the longest-running actor to play the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera. The actress is Caroline O'Connor, a popular performer who I saw a few years ago at the Chicago Shakespeare Festival in Sondheim's Folllies. The second video from the event features Kathryn Evans in a big dance production number, lively and splashy, but not one of my favorite songs on the show, but I suspect they wanted a big dance production number.
The production here is quite good. And the treat for me is that one of the songs done here is, as I mentioned, my favorite song for Mabel, "Look What Happened to Mabel. So, it's a pleasure to finally get to see what I assume is the original staging. And a special pleasure is the extrmely clever costuming and lighting that make her look at one point as being in black-and-white, surrounded by color.
I don't think this is a definitive view of Mack and Mabel. Not only is Howard McGillien 20-25 years too young for the role, but Caroline O'Connor's style is big and brassy, which is sort of the way I remember her from other things. And the point of Mabel is that she's young, shy, out of her element at first and almost the opposite of the big and brassy Mack Sennett. (If you recall the audio I posted the other day of Bernadette Peters on stage during a performance, she came across as gawky and awkward, and I described her as the epitome of "adorable." Caroline O'Connor gives a wonderfully fun performance here. The epitome of adorable it is not. Still, given how little video there is of the show, this is a treat to have..