Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mamma Mia!: How Can I Resist You

In my lifetime, only two shows have played Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre, Cats (fun fact: Cats opened the month I was born) and Mamma Mia! Since I hadn't seen Cats until long after it had closed on Broadway and I'd only seen Mamma Mia! in its pre-Broadway Los Angeles run in 2001 and in London in 2003, the Winter Garden was the one hurdle keeping me from my goal of seeing a show in every current Broadway house. So when I got an invitation to a Mamma Mia! blogger night, I had to go check the Winter Garden off my list and of course, see how the show is doing after 10 years on Broadway.

Before the show, we were also invited to Two Boots to try out the new Mamma Mia! pizza--sopressata and sweet Italian sausage with red pepper pesto on a white pie. I don't eat meat, so I enjoyed a cheese slice, but the meat-eaters seemed to enjoy The Mamma Mia.

As for the show, you probably already know whether or not you're going to like it, depending on how you feel about ABBA music and jukebox musicals. I am in more in the "you already know you're going to love it" (the tagline of the show) camp. Look, it's not life-changing theater, but it is fun theater. It's escapist theater. It would also make for a good bachelorette party as it is about a wedding (plus, it has guys dancing in no shirts and scuba gear).

Mamma Mia! is about a young woman's quest to find her father before she gets married. On an island in Greece, 20-year-old bride-to-be Sophie (Liana Hunt) has never known who her father is, but she finds an old diary belonging to her mother Donna (Lisa Brescia) and figures out that she has three potential fathers. She invites them all to the wedding.

The best thing about the show is the way the ABBA songs are integrated into the plot. For example, when Donna's best friends are comforting her and they break out into "Chiquita." I enjoyed the show more the first time I saw it because of the element of surprise, but I still think it's a cleverly put-together show (Catherine Johnson wrote the book connecting the songs by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus). I recently saw Jersey Boys again (also my first time seeing it on Broadway) and I think that has held up better, maybe because the costumes, sets, and dialogue aren't as cheesy, but it also hasn't been around as long.

If you've never seen the show or have been thinking of revisiting, Mamma Mia! is having its first ever winter sale. Every orchestra seat is $49 to $79 from January 9 to March 4, but you must purchase by December 24 (last minute Christmas or Chanukah gift, anyone?). Click here for full details.

1 comment:

Lisa C. said...

Love Mamma Mia! Having a bachelorette party there is a good idea.