Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mamma Mia: Oh My!

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 3:01 PM

I don't envy anyone having to fill Meryl Streep's shoes in the role of Donna Sheridan, the "mamma" of Mamma Mia fame. Add cinematic heavy hitters like Colin Firth and Christine Baranski to the mix, and even a Broadway touring company might have a hard time recreating some of the chemistry found in a tightly edited, fast-paced movie with star power to spare.

True, the film version was based on the 1999 musical , but for many of us in Boise, the movie is what we know, up until now. A touring company version is currently on stage at the Morrison Center, brought to town by the Broadway in Boise series. Not comparing the two is difficult at best. The acting and singing were good in Tuesday's opening-night production, but the show fell a little flat.

The story of Donna (Kaye Tuckerman) preparing for her daughter Sophie's (Chloe Tucker) wedding and facing the humorous resurgence of a past she isn't particularly looking forward to rehashing is set to the disco dance tunes of ABBA.

Mamma Mia benefits not only from the audience members' familiarity with the music but their desire to want to get their dance on, too. That wasn't happening last night. Donna's friends Tanya (Alison Ewing) and Rosie (Mary Callanan) garnered some laughs and the cast received a standing ovation, but there was a lack of crowd energy—even during the final dance numbers and hits like "Dancing Queen." At one point, I realized that my 6-year-old daughter and I were two of only a handful of people dancing in the aisles.

Overall, the performance was entertaining and made for an enjoyable evening out with the family. If you are headed to the show tonight or Thursday, be sure to brush up on ABBA's greatest hits so you can get the most out of the performance by singing and dancing along.

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