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BWW Reviews: MAMMA MIA a Crowd Pleaser

Mamma Mia! Here we go again! The sensational Abba-inspired tour returned to the Gallo Center for the Arts Thursday evening with yet another sold-out run ahead. After more than ten years on Broadway and with numerous International and North America tours, the pop musical heads to Fresno for its next California stop. No doubt, audiences there, too, will find themselves unable to resist the beat and motion of the contagious pop musical. Thursday's audience, young and old, had no trouble dancing in their seats.

Creators Catherine Johnson, Phyllida Lloyd and Martin Koch weave title song "Mamma Mia," "Super Trouper," "Voulez-vous" and others to tell the story of Sophie Sheridan's wedding on a Greek island. Sophie, who has grown up without a father, finds her mother, Donna's diary and invites three potential dads to witness her nuptials. The surprise visit leads both mother and daughter on a journey of self-discovery and renewed relationships.

Live theatre leaves room for spontaneity of humor with Donna's best friends (the hilarious Bailey Purvis and Sarah Smith) and thrilling energy with a fantastic ensemble. In short, the stage show far exceeds its enjoyable Meryl Streep film counterpart. Beautiful blues and whites evoking Greek coast architecture also add a lovely, simple aesthetic to the production's scenic, lighting and costume design. In the current touring production, Chelsea Williams and Rebecca Mason-Wygal lead the cast with strong vocals as Sophie and Donna, while Mark A. Harmon, Michael Colavolpe and Jeff Drushal give the leading (but not down the aisle) men great personality.

Gallo Center - Through February 14
Broadway Fresno - April 1-2

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From This Author Harmony Wheeler