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‘Mamma Mia!’ was a lot of fun
May 7, 2014 - Pam Rodgers
There’s 1970s disco music, platform shoes and spandex suits, what more could a show need?
OK, there’s a little more to it than that, but “Mamma Mia!” is definitely a party on stage. The music from the show is all from the Swedish group ABBA. The story is cleverly crafted around the group’s best songs. It’s like going to a play and concert at the same time.
A movie based on the show was released in 2008 starring Meryl Streep. Since then, I have wanted to see the show live on stage, and Sunday I was able to fulfill that wish. The stage version is slightly different than the movie, as is common with most film adaptations. I have to say, seeing it on stage is definitely the better format. Nothing against the movie, I’ll still watch and enjoy it; but it will always be hard to beat a live performance.
The story is funny and endearing; it captured my attention from the first note. All of the leads were great in their roles, especially Donna and Sophie. They have to sing in almost every scene they are in and they nailed it.
At the conclusion of the story, they did three encore song and dance numbers. It’s definitely unique for a stage musical, in my experience anyway. Usually, as soon as the principals rejoin the stage for their bow, the crowd is standing and applauding. The curtain will fall and everyone will shuffle out of the theater. That wasn’t the case with “Mamma Mia!” We were all on our feet and they kept going. We got to sing and dance along by the end. It was great!