The musical Mamma Mia! tells the story of a young woman named Sophie who wants to find out who her father is before she is married to her fiancé, Sky. As she gets to know her three possible fathers throughout the few days before her wedding, she also becomes closer with her mother, which ultimately helps her discover what she truly wants from her life. The show, which is mostly comedic in nature with some emotional touches, is beloved by many, especially the middle-aged mothers who connect with Donna, Sophie’s mother, and her quirky best friends. I thought that this particular performance, one of the three I’ve seen in my life since my mother happens to be one of the aforementioned middle-aged women, was a lot of fun and had a very strong cast who were able to take on this modern classic of a show impressively.
As far as the actors go, I was particularly impressed with the performances of Betsy Padamonsky, Cashelle Butler, and Sarah Smith, who played Donna and her friends, Tanya and Rosie, respectively. I was constantly blown away by their wonderful comedic timing throughout the show and loved to watch them interact with one another since their friendship was so believable. Butler was able to perfectly capture Tanya’s confidence and slightly stuck-up attitude, and Smith was obviously having a lot of fun with Rosie’s character throughout the whole show. I was also very impressed with Lizzie Markson’s performance as Sophie; she was able to make the character sweet and lovable while still showing her more mature and independent side. She and Padamonsky connected well as a mother/daughter pair, which made their moments together all the more touching.
The set of Mamma Mia! was quite plain as far as scenic design goes, but I think it fit the show very well due to its stronger focus on the skills of the actors. The two rotating pieces of the taverna made up the majority of the set and were able to create a variety of different scenes by simply being moved into new locations. The colorful costumes added to the 1980s feel that the music of ABBA gave to the show and made the show even more fun to watch. Overall, the technical elements did a very good job of adding to the story without completely overwhelming the performance of the cast.
The show was a lot of fun to watch and kept me laughing pretty much the whole time. It was obvious by the standing ovation at the end of the show that the audience really enjoyed the feel-good vibe. If you’re in need of a musical that will put a smile on your face and catchy songs in your head, Mamma Mia! is definitely a must-see.