Mamma Mia! on Broadway Reviews
Link no longer active - Score: 9
From: New York Post By: Clive Barnes Publication Date: 10/19/2001
"Mamma Mia!" flies as tuneful as a lark and as smart as a cuckoo. It offers one of those nights when you sit back and let a nutty kind of joy just sweep over you... The true hero is British playwright Catherine Johnson, who took all these songs and cobbled a cohesive book around them. Genius. Phyllida Lloyd's staging gets the very last ounce of fun and sentiment out of the show - it's dazzlingly fast and breathtakingly simple - while Anthony Van Laast's choreography supports it at every turn.
Mom Had a Trio (And a Band, Too) - Score: 8
From: New York Times By: Ben Brantley Publication Date: 10/19/2001
For if you take apart 'Mamma, Mia!' ingredient by ingredient, you can only wince. It has a sitcom script about generations in conflict that might as well be called 'My Three Dads.' The matching acting, perky and italicized, often brings to mind the house style of 'The Brady Bunch.' The choreography is mostly stuff you could try, accident-free, in your own backyard. And the score consists entirely of songs made famous in the disco era by the Swedish pop group Abba, music that people seldom admit to having danced to, much less sung in their showers. Yet these elements have been combined, with alchemical magic, into the theatrical equivalent of comfort food.
Mamma Mia - Score: 8
From: Variety By: Charles Isherwood Publication Date: 10/18/2001
"Mamma Mia!," which weaves a few threads of romantic comedy around a bumper crop of old Abba tunes, is a thoroughly preposterous show, but it's also a giddy guilty pleasure, and its arrival on Broadway in a time of unforeseen anxiety has an aura of sweet inevitability. ("Spores, shmores! Let's boogie!") The show is already a certified hit, with an advance approaching $30 million, and that number will hang firm as word spreads -- in sheepish whispers, and from the unlikeliest of quarters -- about the genial good time it offers.
Mamma Mia - Score: 8
From: NY1 By: Roma Torre Publication Date: 10/19/2001
Mamma Mia defies scrutiny. If you attempt to analyze this mega hit from London, it'll fall apart. It's hokey, implausible and silly. The Abba music, despite its popularity, is mediocre and many are likely to think: What's the big deal?... Audiences should come prepared to check their cynicism at the door and become dancing queens, boogying giddily into the night.
Greek to Me - Score: 5
From: New York Magazine By: John Simon Publication Date: 10/29/2001
The jerry-built result predictably leaves the show dependent on the songs, the production values, and the performers. The plot now has Donna's daughter, Sophie, getting married and, wanting to find her father, inviting all three men she finds in her mother's diary to the impending nuptials, unbeknown to Mom. All three show up, as do, for other reasons, the two female backup singers who, long ago, performed in Donna's trio. Since this meets most people's preposterousness quota, enough of plot summary, and on to more relevant matters. I did not grow up on Abba's music, but I didn't mind the songs Andersson and Ulvaeus wrote for the musical Chess, which were purposefully created for that show. Abba's music must have something to it: How can more than 350 million worldwide record sales be wrong? (Or can they?) The lyrics are good enough for Swedes writing in English; most of them cannot be heard over the din, anyway. If you happen to have a couple of spare eardrums, be sure to bring them along. That said, I found the score neither unbearable nor something I'd miss if I never heard it again.
Mamma Mia - Score: 5
From: Time Out New York By: David Cote Publication Date: 10/19/2001
Almost two dozen hits from the ’70s pop sensation ABBA form the spine of this worldwide smash, which book writer Catherine Johnson has feebly fleshed out into a mother-daughter comedy-drama. As theater, Mamma Mia! is forgettable. As a delivery system for pop-culture nostalgia, it’s ruthless.
Hey, ABBA! - Score: 3
From: New York Daily News By: Howard Kissel Publication Date: 10/19/2001
If you're an ABBA fan, read no further. Just line up at the box office for "Mamma Mia!" Immediately. Since you're already bonded to the material, you will undoubtedly have a wonderful time. If, however, your attachment to ABBA is only tangential or, as in my case, nonexistent, you might want to think twice about it.
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