Review Roundup: MAMMA MIA! at San Jose Stage Company; What Did The Critics Think?
San Jose Stage Company presents the final production of The Stage's 36th Anniversary Season, the smash hit ABBA musical MAMMA MIA! Featuring music and lyrics by Benny Anderssonand Björn Ulvaeus and a book by Catherine Johnson, MAMMA MIA! runs through July 7, 2019 at San Jose Stage Company (490 South 1st Street, San Jose, CA, 95113).
San Jose Stage's production of MAMMA MIA! will be directed by Allison F. Rich* (who will also play the role of "Tanya Cresham-Leigh"), with choreography by Keith Pinto(who will also play the role of "Harry Bright"). Martín Rojas Dietrich will serve as Associate Music Director. The press opening will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range from $32 - $60 and can be purchased through the Box Office at (408) 283-7142 or online at www.thestage.org.
John Huân Vu, The San Jose Blog: As the Overture starts, the five band orchestra is found playing at the center back part of the stage led by The Stage former cast member and now conductor, Martín Rojas Dietrich. Despite the small theater, the orchestra was able to deliver all the songs allowing an ABBA fan to feel the music resonating in their hearts. Although I came in with high expectations, what really hit the musical out of the park were the three cast members that made Donna and the Dynamos (Donna, Tanya, and Rosie) including their delivery of the infamous song, "Dancing Queen." Allison F. Rich, musical director and cast member, continues to deliver a solid performance as Tanya including her seductive flirtation with Pepper, played by Michael J. Wu, in "Does Your Mother Know." Jill Miller, who played Rosie, performed a great duet with Jeffrey Brian Adams, who played Bill, in "Take a Chance on Me" with a nod to some future BDSM. Nevertheless, to round out the trio was a spectacular performance by Adrienne Herro who played Donna. From the first scene to the last, Adrienee Herro evoked Donna's character as a mother who is not only confused and frustrated but also loving and fun.
Let's see what the critics think!
Michael J. Vaughn, Operaville: Stage's production delivers abundant energy, intensified by its cozy space. Keith Pinto's choreography is endlessly inventive and sexy, and the band led by Martín Rojas Dietrich delivers a genuine ABBA sound. The vocals are solid throughout, with a few definite standouts. Playing the lead "father candidate," Noel Anthony displays a real talent for connecting song to character, particularly with "Knowing Me, Knowing You," a bit of fatherly advice for his potential daughter. Adrienne Herro plays mother-of-the-bride Donna with a girl-next-door appeal (much preferable to Meryl Streep's annoying glamour-pus) and hits an emotional peak with "The Winner Takes It All." Both songs remind us that the ultimate Euro party band could also deliver real heartbreakers.