Mamma Mia! graced the Fox Theatre from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6, delivering an upbeat, feel-good musical about “A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget!” The slogan perfectly sums up the plot of the play which depicts a girl who is desperately searching for her father, but is faced with three possible options. As if discovering who her dad is does not create enough difficulties, she is also in the middle of preparing for her own wedding. The plot twists and turns, leading to an unsolved mystery regarding the main question, a surprise wedding and plenty of humorous moments throughout. The play concludes with the original couple that was intended to marry instead embarking on a journey, leaving the newly married couple in charge of the beautiful Greek island where the play is set—a perfectly happy ending.
The story centers around the characters Sophie, the girl in search of her father and Donna, her mother. Both delivered fantastic performances through singing, dancing, and acting. Sophie was cute and appropriately dramatic with a sweet, strong voice perfect for the songs she sang. Donna also had an incredible voice and energy that truly added to the entire performance. The two female leads were wonderful assets to the show and certainly did not disappoint.
The entire cast was filled with talent, but Donna and the Dynamos, Donna’s girl-power band, clearly stole the show. Rosie and Tanya, her two best friends and the dynamos of the group, really made Mamma Mia! fantastic. Rosie’s awkward attitude and blunt sense of humor had the crowd wincing and laughing along. Tanya’s overbearing demeanor and obsession with men and beauty offered plenty of laughs and adult humor. Both women provided not only the comedy factor, but powerful vocal performances as well. Tanya’s performance of “Does Your Mother Know” was definitely one of the best numbers of the show, complete with great acting and hilarious dance moves. Overall, these women were perfectly suited for their roles and were standouts of the show.
Since the cast was extremely strong in each of their individual performances, the group numbers were fantastic and full of energy. They all worked brilliantly together through song, dance and acting. The best group song-and-dance numbers would certainly have to be “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia” though, both of which provided a great, fun energy that effectively permeated throughout the crowd.
The dancing throughout the performance was certainly a strong element of Mamma Mia! as well. The various numbers showcased the casts’ unique dance styles, which included an entertaining number with flippers. The dancing also added to the group numbers, making them even more fun and enjoyable. The dancing component of the show really energized the crowd and provided another terrific aspect to the overall performance.
Many of the elements incorporated in the show were done so effectively such as the music, costumes and set.
The music was upbeat and catchy with the songs effectively adding to the positive atmosphere of the play. The band played very well and provided creative mixes of the popularized songs throughout the scene changes and prior to the show.
The costumes were fun, colorful and well-suited for the characters, while the set was simple but appropriate. The characters made great use of the music, stage and their outfits, one of the many positive aspects of the show.
One of the minimal flaws of Mamma Mia! was the performance from Sam Carmichael, one of Donna’s lovers and a potential father to Sophie. He was a good actor and fit the role well, but his singing was quite horrendous.
The performers closed the show with something that resembled an encore from a concert. Donna and the Dynamos led the cast in renditions of the worldwide hits “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia” once again. The entire cast successfully ended the show with a bang, getting the crowd off their feet, singing and dancing along to the classics and providing an overall feel-good mood that perfectly coincided with Mamma Mia!