Review: Mamma Mia

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Ticket type: Standing on orchestra level (Stalls)

Price: $27 – Rush

Viewing Angle: Centre, couldn’t see the top of half of the proscenium, this didn’t make a difference.

My first experience with Mamma Mia was the 2009 film directed by Phyllida Lloyd which was full of plot holes and underdeveloped characters portrayed by a stellar cast who held it together enough to make it fun. So, I thought I knew what I’d be getting from the stage version…oh how I was wrong, after standing for nearly 3 hours at the back of the Broadhurst Theatre I can definitely say that I completely appreciate the popularity of this show and see why it has managed to maintain a consistent audience.

Although I found some of the younger male characters to be quite two-dimensional and tacky, the stand-out performances come from the three older female principals. Jennifer Noth (Donna) smashes “The Winner Takes it all” out of the park and Felicia Finlay (Tanya) and Lauren Cohn (Rosie) are two of the funniest and genuine comic side-characters I have seen. There is just so much physical and verbal humour in this show that carried out predominately by Finlay that really come across well as live theatre that you can’t help but enjoy it.

Some of the musical numbers such as “Chiquitita” and “Under Attack” suffer the normal jarring inclusion found in most jukebox musicals, but the pacing of the show never becomes tiring (even when you’re standing) and the story flows much more consistently than its film counterpart that you’re not ever questioning motives or doubting the resolution.

Technically Mamma Mia is tight and the lighting plat is very creative that it really heightens key moments of orchestration positively. Mamma Mia uses two white brick Greek Aisle cylindrical walls on trucks as the principle part of the set and goes to show that a minimal set can really heighten the focus on the performers on stage as different settings are created by rotating the cylinders, adding props and very effective lighting. There are a few moments where the set does become a little more technical; particularly for the final scene and the encore which is welcomed by the end.

I have enjoyed my first outing to a Broadway show and if this is how exciting a show that I wasn’t even that excited to see is, I can’t wait for the rest!

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