Don’t have the money to vacation on a greek island? Avoid the jet-lag and be swept away in this talent filled rendition of Mama Mia!. On its farewell tour, and its whopping seventh visit to Minneapolis, Mama Mia! will keep you laughing during this broadway favorite. Playing through February 23 at the Orpheum theater in downtown Minneapolis, this production has been sold out and people are crowding to the theater. Not, to worry, this cast did not disappoint. The singing! The jokes! The dancing! It's a show to see. The set? Well, lets just say that the best kind of acting can sweep you away, even it doesn’t have a whole lot to work with. Mama Mia! Tells the story of Sophie Sheridan, who envites three potential fathers to her wedding, in hopes of knowing who her real father is before her wedding takes place, and what a spectacle unfolds!
Betsy Padamonsky, playing Sophie's mother Donna Sheridan, blew me away with her singing and acting! Money, Money, Money may be something you worry about, but Padamonsky belts this song so perfectly that you will forget any worries. I must shine the spotlight on Cashelle Butler and Sarah Smith, playing Tanya and Rosie. With comedic songs perfectly sung and acting that was enough to have the entire audience laughing in any scene we got to see these two talents shine. The singing and dancing left me wanting to dance along in my seat, with the song Does You Mama Know making me want to see more of what the ensemble had to offer.
With as much as the cast of Mamma Mia! swept me away, the set flew me right back. The set was not the strong point of this production.The set was movable and directly in the middle of the stage. Many times I saw things that shouldn’t be visible to the audience. The set felt incomplete and sloppily laid out. The lighting was also an opportunity lost, and I wondered if I was watching a poetry slam or a broadway production, with shaky overused spotlights cutting in and out. But, the set wasn’t a complete bust, Its versatility allowed a flow to the different scenes and did promote the feeling of a villa.
When it comes down to it, this production made me pick at its fringes for its cons. If you already have tickets, enjoy the show, it will make you feel like a Dancing Queen- no matter your age! If you don’t have tickets, well, all I can say is maybe next time, because this show was amazing!