BWW Review: MAMMA MIA Says Farewell at Saenger Theatre
Walking into the theater last night, I was armed only with the experience of the film version. You know, the one where they tried to convince us that Pierce Brosnin could sing? So, I was prepared for the campy, cheesiness of this show. I knew the storyline, so I couldn't be disappointed by it. So really, I was there for the singing, the dancing, and the girl power.
In these elements, the show did not disappoint. While I felt the first few scenes were a little slow, once the familiar chords of "Mamma Mia" started, I was hooked. Betsy Padamonsky is dazzling as Donna Sheridan. She wears the overalls well and hits the power notes flawlessly. Cashelle Butler and Sarah Smith also stole the show as Donna's sidekicks, Tanya and Rosie. Their harmonies in "Chiquitita" were seamless and I couldn't stop laughing as they frolicked around the stage, reminiscent of Galinda during "Popular."
This is not a show that you attend for the storyline. If you're looking for a plot that makes sense, please skip out on this one. The premise is that Sophie Sheridan is getting married, but doesn't know who her father is. She invites her three potentials to the wedding - because weddings are not stressful enough - and the story unfolds from there. It's silly. It's messy. It's a lot of fun, all in all.
Other notable points of this show that I can't forget to mention are the dancing scenes. In particular, the "Voulez Vous" number is fantastic. I kept my attention on Betsy Padamonsky this entire scene, because she was just that impressive. I didn't laugh for much of this show, but when Sarah Smith performed "Take a Chance on Me," I couldn't help it. She has a Melissa McCarthy physical humor that is so fun to watch.
If you're in need of some girl time and are an ABBA fan, get to the Saenger before this show leaves. And also, stay until the end. You'll miss out if you don't!