After an extensive search, American actress Rebecca LaChance has been confirmed to star as Mabel alongside Michael Ball in Chichester’s forthcoming summer musical, Mack and Mabel, at the Festival Theatre from 13 July to 5 September, and then touring across the UK and Ireland in the production.
Based on the true romance between Hollywood legends Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, this musical comedy (book by Michael Stewart, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman) received eight Tony Award nominations when it opened on Broadway in 1974. The much-loved score includes ‘Time Heals Everything’ and ‘I Won’t Send Roses’.
Rebecca LaChance’s credits include her recent Broadway debut in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical as a featured ensemble member while understudying Jessie Mueller in the title role. Other credits include Johnny Baseball directed by Gordon Greenberg, the director of Chichester’s acclaimed production of Guys and Dolls during Festival 2014, Central Avenue Breakdown and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
Michael Ball plays Mack Sennett. Recent credits include the BBC television drama That Day We Sang, which reunited him with Sweeney Todd co-star Imelda Staunton. Theatre credits include the title role in Sweeney Todd (Chichester’s Festival 2011 and West End), Hairspray, Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Passion, Aspects of Love, The Woman in White and The Phantom of the Opera. Ball co-produced Chichester Festival 2010’s West End transfer of Love Story. He also has a successful recording and broadcasting career, and will be embarking on a UK concert tour in spring 2015.
Other casting includes Anna-Jane Casey as Lottie, Jack Edwards as Fatty, Alex Giannini as Mr Kleiman, Gunnar Cauthery as Frank and Mark Inscoe as William Desmond Taylor. The company also includes Michelle Francis, Emily Langham, Rebecca Louis, Joshua Lovell, Joseph Prouse, and Emily Shaw.
Further casting is to be announced.
The production is directed by Jonathan Church, Chichester’s artistic director. His Chichester credits include Festival 2014’s Taken At Midnight (also West End) which has just received three Olivier Award nominations. Other credits include Singin’ in the Rain (also West End, UK and international tour), which tours to New Zealand in March 2015.
Church said: “Mabel Normand was ‘discovered’ by Mack Sennett and became one of the best loved female film stars of the era. Partly for this reason Michael and I always hoped we might cast an emerging young actress to play Mabel. And we are thrilled that Rebecca will follow in the steps of Bernadette Peters and Imelda Staunton who played this role at the beginning of their careers.”
Following the Chichester dates, there will be a UK and Ireland tour from 1 October–6 December.
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