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BWW Reviews: Abba-licious Fun at MAMMA MIA! at the Paramount

The MAMMA MIA! North American Tour Company
Photo by Joan Marcus, 2014

It has no huge morally important message to deliver. It won't be stopping wars or fixing societal unrest. But what "Mamma Mia!", currently playing at the Paramount Theatre, does do and has always done is to be fun. A fluffy, bubblegum, rockin' good time and seriously that's enough.

If you don't know the story by now then where have you been since it's been around for 14 years and has had a highly successful film adaptation but OK here goes. Sophie (Chelsea Williams) is getting married to Sky (played by understudy Sean Patrick Grady at the performance I saw). But Sophie has no idea who her Dad is as her Mother Donna (Georgia Kate Haege) doesn't like to talk about it. But Sophie has discovered her Mother's diary from the year she was born and has found that it could be any one of three guys, Sam, Bill or Harry (Jeff Drushal, Michael Colavolpe and understudy Royce James McIntosh at my performance). Sophie secretly invites all three of them to her wedding in order to find out which is her Dad. And so while Donna and her two best friends Tanya and Rosie (Bailey Purvis and Sarah Smith) prepare for the wedding, secrets are revealed and romance is sparked and it's all done to the tunes of Abba.

Now I will admit to loving this piece of fluff. I've seen it several times and I always have a good time. It's filled with raucous dance numbers, funny dialog and enough spandex and glitter to choke a horse. But then, I also like Abba songs. If Abba is not your thing (which I know a few who are vehemently opposed to all things Abba) then this show could be 2 hours of torture as there is really no way to escape the giddy Abba-ness of the show and it's fans who still come out in droves for this one and yes, sing along. Be prepared. But if you're like me and enjoy Abba and are looking for a place to turn off your brain and just let the spectacle wash over you then you're bound to have a good time.

P. Tucker Worley (center) and
The MAMMA MIA! North American Tour Company
Photo by Joan Marcus, 2014

The cast does a fine job with tons of energy and fun. Williams and Grady make for an adorable couple. Haege brings in plenty of humor to Donna along with Purvis and Smith who equally shine in their solo numbers. And the three make for terrific Dynamos (if you've seen the show you know what I mean). And the three potential Dads; Drushal, Colavolpe and McIntosh; each brought in their own wonderful moments. Especially Drushal whose voice is quite rich and clear. But then everyone has a great voice and they all handle these iconic pop tunes with gusto. And I have to mention the adorable P. Tucker Worley who killed it as one of Sky's friends who develops a cougar-ish crush on Tanya. Super fun and energetic performance from Worley. So much so that at times I thought he would leap off the stage. Oh wait, he did. Don't believe me? Look at the picture to the right.

So if you're not repulsed by Abba then you could do much worse for an evening than to catch the always fun "Mamma Mia!" that I give a mindless and familiar YAY with my three letter rating system. It's just a good time!

"Mamma Mia!" performs at the Paramount Theatre through March 29th. For tickets or information contact the Seattle Theatre Group box office at 877-STG-4TIX (877-784-4849) or visit them online at www.stgpresents.org.


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From This Author Jay Irwin