In October 1974 Jerry Herman’s Mack and Mabel premiered on Broadway. He has been quoted as saying it is a favorite score but sadly it was a box office flop. It has been always recognized that the problem has been Michael Stewart’s book. The story of two not particularly sympathetic people – one an ego-centric movie director the other a cocaine-addicted actress – just doesn’t work. As faithful as it may have been to the real story of Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand it just isn’t the stuff of musical comedy.
I tend to agree with Herman’s opinion of his score and in particular the lovely ballad I Won’t Send Roses. I searched high and low for a clip of the incredible Robert Preston’s definitive version from the original production, and I know there was a clip out there at one time. The only thing I could fine was his version used as music for an ice dance routine. But what an ice dance routine!
17 settembre – San Roberto Bellarmino