January 27, 2012

Mamma Mia

Broadway, Winter Garden Theatre
1/14/12 matinee
Background: On January 14th, I traveled to NYC with the intent to see a show, but no tickets and no clue as to what I wanted to see. I felt like I should see Follies for the third time since it would be closing the following weekend.... but there were no rush tickets left. Cross Follies off my nonexistent list. What to see?? I started walking up Broadway looking at the marquees and thinking, “okay, do I want to see that? No. Do I want to try a lottery?  No, I’m not in a risk-taking mood today”. As I walked toward the Broadway Theatre, I suddenly got a hankering for Sister Act, which I saw this past August. I was feeling in the mood for something light and humorous (On second thought, Follies would NOT have been a good choice for me). I entered an empty box office and asked about rush or discount tickets. None left. Forget about my hankering for Sister Act. I was now starting to worry that I would not be able to see a show that day. I continued to mentally list all the musicals currently on Broadway. What to see, what to see? Suddenly, I saw the Winter Garden Theatre looming in front of me. Mamma Mia
My first experience with Mamma Mia was when I saw the touring cast a few years back. Every Christmas, I take my grandmother to a Broadway musical and I usually let her pick what she wants to see.  One Christmas, I gave her the list of shows and to my surprise, she picked Mamma Mia. Why, Gram? Because friends of hers had seen it and thought it was hilarious. I knew nothing about Mamma Mia except that it was inspired by ABBA songs. As the curtain came up and the show began, I soon realized this was not a show that my conservative grandmother would enjoy. A story about a girl with three possible fathers who spends two hours trying to discover which man is her biological dad. DOT DOT DOT... So instead of enjoying the show, I spent two hours and fifteen minutes being slightly mortified and worrying that my Christmas gift had been an epic failure. The verdict: “It wasn’t what I thought it would be”. I did better the following year with Beauty and the Beast
So as the marquee loomed in front of me, I was confronted with the chance to see Mamma Mia again, this time through new, undistracted eyes. I decided that Mamma Mia was just what I needed that day. In the box office, a little girl and her mother were buying tickets and the little girl was dancing around with excitement. So cute. And thank goodness, there were rush tickets just four rows from the front at a very affordable price. I finally had my ticket and would see a show that day after all. 
Synopsis: On a Greek island, 20 year old Sophie Sheridan is getting married and wants her father to walk her down the aisle. The problem: she doesn’t know who her father is. After reading her mother’s old diary, she realizes that she has three potential fathers and invites the three men- Sam, Bill, and Harry- to her wedding without telling her mother, Donna. As she tries to learn who her biological father is, she learns something much more important instead. 
Comments: I really like Mamma Mia. Simply put, it's just plain fun. It’s the perfect show for anyone who wants to see a comedy with great high-energy dance numbers and classic songs. Some of the most memorable songs for me were: Dancing Queen (of course), Mamma Mia, Slipping Through My Fingers (bittersweet), Does Your Mother Know (hilarious), Honey, Honey, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, Take A Chance On Me, and The Winner Takes It All (powerful).  Lisa Brescia, Annie Edgerton (u/s), and Judy McLane as Donna, Rosie, and Tanya had great chemistry together and had the audience in hysterics. Felicity Claire (u/s) as Sophie had beautiful vocals and Jordan Dean as Sky had one of the most amazing bodies I’ve ever seen. Patrick Boll as Bill Austin was particularly funny, especially in his scenes with Annie Edgerton. I was most impressed with Lisa Brescia as Donna. She hit notes that Meryl Streep can only dream about (no offense to Meryl, who is a great ACTRESS, but not necessarily a singer. At some point, I will need to write about my opinion of movie musicals.). She also portrayed a more emotional, vulnerable, maternal side of the character. The stand-out performance in Mamma Mia was Lisa Brescia as Donna Sheridan. With that said, the entire cast was fantastic. I would see it again... 


  1. I would love your opinion on movie musicals in blog form!! I liked the movie version of this but not the live. Maybe I need to give it a second shot, also!

  2. You should give it a second shot at some point. I actually liked Mamma Mia the movie, but the Broadway production was so much better.

  3. I will :) I'm sure there will be plenty of NY trips to see it!

  4. I thought the movie was terrible! Perhaps I should consider seeing it on Broadway.