Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lay All Your Love on Me!

Yesterday Eric and I were invited to join a few friends watch Mamma Mia. This show has been out for sometime now, but we never took the time to see it. We had several chances, but whether in Vegas or NYC, other shows won top choice. As usual we went through the Goldstar website. This site never disappoints with it's great and accessible ticket prices. I always tell people to never pay full price for any show! 

Going into the performance we knew that this would be probably not be the best thing we've seen. Eric and I were ok with that because having seen the film version, we were curious. I do want to note this "review" is more of recounting our experience. This is written merely for fun. 

Right at the top of the show, after the short Prolouge rendition of ABBA's "I Have a Dream", the dialogue was over the top corny. I'd go as far to say that it made me borderline uncomfortable. Even the elderly lady right next to me whispered (loudly) to her daughter, "They are acting like 7th graders, not young adults."

Now remember that we knew exactly what to expect. If anything, the overall cliché story and acting is almost the reason to watch this. Then there of course is the ABBA soundtrack. I didn't listen to them growing up, but Eric had a "greatest" hits CD a while back. After hearing that approximately 10 years ago, I developed a taste for them. It's definitely enough of a liking to have seen the film version more than a few times. Off the top of my head, a few favorites of mine are "S.O.S.", "Fernando", and "Voulez-Vous". And, although I don't like the original sung version, Meryl Streep has a notable rendition of "The Winner Takes it All".

This might be because it's just a touring show, many years after the original production, but the music relied very much on a computer/keyboard. That was joined by a guitarist and a percussionist. Being that the music was from the 1970s or early 1980s, I can definitely forgive that. I will say that the accompanying music sounded better than the touring production of CATS. (I won't visit that one in this or any post)

Some of the songs appeared tossed into the set list because a creator really wanted that song(s) in there. We would have a group of cast members delivering dialogue and hear a rim shot from the pit, and suddenly we were thrust into "Knowing Me, Knowing You". That song was a stretch. It seemed the book writers tried to convey a character recalling a past event, but I felt the audience had to piece that together. The lyrics of "Knowing Me, Knowing You" are directed at an individual that wasn't even onstage or in the show. But as I mentioned, one can't put too much thought into this. 

At the finale the famous, or not so famous, encore took place. Three songs were sung as the main cast donned some flashy, retro outfits seen onstage at a Bee Gees or an ABBA concert. Eric and I had some fun noting the patrons that were up out of their seat, dancing like they had to let out some tension from work or life. A few individuals were about to jump onstage, it seemed. But, they were all having a good time and I can't complain about that. 

Both Eric and I enjoyed ourselves too. I would be lying if I said we weren't smiling for the finale. Mamma Mia was one of those shows to see at least once. Sure it has campiness, but you have to embrace it. The songs are by ABBA! And who doesn't love the song "Dancing Queen"? If you don't, why not? It's all in good fun!

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