Review: Mamma Mia!

music comments edit

Mamma Mia! is a musical production that tells the story of a girl getting married who has never met her father. She finds out that there are three men who potentially could be her father, so she invites them all to her wedding and proceeds to try to figure out which one is going to walk her down the aisle.

The thing about Mamma Mia!, though, is that the music is all ABBA music - so when you go in, you already know the words to the songs, and you can’t help but tap your toe.

Now, I’ve seen several Broadway-style productions including Jesus Christ Superstar and Phantom of the Opera. I’ve seen almost every Cirque du Soleil show out there. So going into Mamma Mia!, I had a certain level of expectation for the showmanship that they were going to present to me.

And… eh. See, I love the music, but I expected to see huge singing and dancing numbers, right? Choreography and lights and music and action! But what I got was more like… four people or thereabouts, max, on stage during any given song (with a couple exceptions), and several of the songs delivered in a “soliloquy” format, where the stage goes dark except for one spotlight on the singer, who stands stock-still (no arm or head movement), delivers the song over the audience’s head, then returns to position and the action continues. A lot of the time I felt like whispering, “Psst! Pssssst! ACT!”

That said, there were some great laughs and it was a nice story they told, so I wasn’t disappointed, it just wasn’t what I expected. Jenn, on the other hand, came out totally wowed and loved every second. Expectations can definitely influence your view of a thing.