BWW Review: ABBA Music, Great Dancing, Fabulous Costumes, Rotating Set! Broadway Rose's MAMMA MIA! Has 'Em All
I don't remember the last time I managed to sit still while listening to ABBA. It certainly wasn't at Broadway Rose last weekend for the smash hit jukebox musical MAMMA MIA! I tapped my toes and bopped my head and swayed side to side. But it was alright, because everyone else was doing it too, and at the end, we all got to sing and dance along.
By now, you've probably seen, or are at least familiar, with MAMMA MIA! in one form or another, if not the stage musical, then the 2008 movie. So you know what you're in for -- a fluffy musical about a young woman (Sophie) who's getting married but doesn't know who her father is. So she invites three potential fathers she learns about in her mother's (Donna) diary. Despite the fact that it's been 21 years and they have to travel to a small Greek island, they all show up, and various kinds of hilarity ensue. Yes, it's all pretty contrived. But, it's got ABBA's greatest hits (almost the entire ABBA Gold album, plus a few songs off of More ABBA Gold), and that's what makes it such a hit.
The central duo at Broadway Rose are played by Sophie Moshofsky, who has a dreamy voice perfect for her love ballads, and Peggy Taphorn, whose throaty voice lends an almost brooding quality to Donna's numbers. The other major roles are Donna's friends and former singing group Tanya and Rosie, played with perfect comic timing by Lisamarie Harrison (master of the sassy smirk) and Laura McCulloch.
But the real standouts in this cast are the members of the groom's party -- Aaron Stewart, Charles Grant, Colin Stephen Kane, Anthony Chantracharoen, John Corr, Dylan Anthony Macabitas, Ryan Monaghan, Feliciano Tencos-Garcia, and Matthew Snyder. They bring the lion's share of the energy and dance talent to the stage, and the night I went they brought the house down several times (picture tap dancing wearing scuba gear, including flippers!).
Aside from the onstage talent, Broadway Rose tapped into some serious behind-the-scenes talent as well. In particular, Allison Dawe did a fantastic job clothing the cast in all of the outrageous sparkly outfits you could ask for. And Brian Boyd's rotating set is an achievement in itself (read how it was achieved on a bulletin board display in the lobby).
Overall, MAMMA MIA! is a silly musical, but it's perfect fun for a carefree summer day. MAMMA MIA! runs through July 22. Details and tickets here.
Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer