One of the videos I've searched for years (and no, don't have it here) is Bernadette Peters singing the charming and adorably fun song, "Look What Happened to Mabel" from Jerry Herman's musical Mack & Mabel, about famed silent movie director Mack Sennett who made legions of comedies and star Mabel Normand. The closest I've come is 15-seconds here of behind-the-scenes footage from a documentary on Herman, and this montage of songs from the show done on a British TV show when the musical was being performed after many years in London, with Caroline O'Connor as Mabel.
Yesterday, Mark Evanier tells a bit about the show and has a wonderful video of the number from the 2000 Reprise! version in Los Angeles, sort of a semi-stated production. It starred Jane Krakowski, who's very talented, but I tend to find a bit cloying to make sure you know you're watching Jane Krakowski. But she does a wonderful job here, and even sort of channels her inner-Bernadette Peters, using an accent that sounds a bit like her, complete with the full production. It's not the Bernadette Peters footage, but a solid replacement. You can it here on Mark's site.
It's a wonderful song, as neophyte Mabel Normand sees herself for the first time on the Big Screen. And one note: there's a phrase that gets repeated a few times in the song (first coming in around the 2:15 mark) that I could never understand through all the years of listening to the number. Finally, I tracked down the lyrics. If you can't make it out either, it's, "So, rattle me beads -- look what happened to Mabel." I have to believe that's an expression of the times. Or Jerry Herman just made it up from thin air."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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