Okay, so I'm totally going to crank these posts out. I have a lot of them to make. Don't feel pressure to read them all because, really, these are for me, and I'm not quite sure if you actually care what I thought about all of this theatre stuff, anyway. Hopefully I'll make some real posts soon.
Early in July, actually, I went with my friend Felicity and her friend Grace to Mama Mia! I have to first say something about the other audience members. First, we had a couple there who had just gotten married. They looked to be in their 50's or so, and I'm guessing that it was neither of their first marriages. They ended up in some box seats after much of the audience applauded them when they entered the theatre. In addition, there was a bachelorette party in front of us. There were about 15 girls there, and if I had to guess their ages, I would say that they were probably around 18 or 20-years old. They were young. And then behind us, we had some folks from the U.K. These people were excited to be there. Before the musical began, they were already partying out to the ABBA songs (sorry I don't know how to type a backwards 'B'). Their partying continued throughout the first act, and after intermission, they had moved to the back of the theatre so that they were more free to stand up and dance in addition to their singing-along with the songs (much to the relief of Felicity).
As I opened the playbill, I started to recognize people, which I thought was weird. The first person, Carol Linnea Johnson looked mighty familiar to me, and I decided that she was previously a part of the USF. And I was right. It said so in her bio. I am sure that I recognized her because she acted for the USF when I worked there, so I probably saw her walk by a lot. And, I suppose that I also saw her in the shows, as well. Anyway. She was Donna.
And then, THEN, upon deeper inspection, I found some other people I recognized. Don Burroughs and Mark Dancewicz. I have no proof because I don't purchase the USF Souvenir Programs, but I'm pretty sure that they were in some of the plays for USF, as well. Actually, I only think that Mark was Joseph in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." But still. USF people. There may have been more, but I'm too lazy to look over it and really figure it out.
What I liked about "Mama Mia!": the stage. The stage was sooooo cooooool. I admired it practically the whole time. If I wasn't interested in the dialogue that was going on, I would just look at the pretty colors and the extreme awesomeness of the scenery and the stage. Two thumbs up to the scenery people. I also enjoyed the fun-ness of the play. It was obviously supposed to be fun, and it was. It kind of reminded me of a sugar-high, where all you really want to do at the end of the musical is jump around or dance. I was able to contain it all, but the U.K. people did all of the jumping and dancing for me.
The costumes were okay. The person introducing the play warned that if you are offended by tight spandex or have heart problems that you should leave. I didn't leave, and I was neither offended nor having heart problems. Of course, I am a girl, and there were (thankfully) no males in spandex. At least, nothing I can remember; I may have blocked it if there were. The groovy spandex that I think they were referring to was groovy, indeed.
The storyline wasn't too compelling to me. The entire musical seemed like it was written just so they could throw in the ABBA music. It actually may have been. It's not that it's not entertaining (because it is), but I'm merely saying that any message that the writer may have tried to have was completely lost on me. SPOILER ALERT! At the end the daughter who has been planning on getting married decides that she doesn't want to get married even though she wants to be with her fiance' for ever after, but then the mom decides to suddenly elope and get married to the guy that she had loved years ago. It just doesn't really make that much sense to me. I wasn't sure where the decision was made on whether to get married or not. Is it only if you're old? Maybe I'm just thinking too much about this one. Maybe it was just a story with the music of ABBA. No message; just a story. With ABBA music.
Also, have you ever been around people who are clearly flirting with each other and are trying to hook up? And, have you ever felt like you were invading upon a moment that they were having that perhaps would have been better if they were having this moment behind closed doors (or at least without you)? Well, that's kind of how part of this show was to me. I felt like I was kind of a third wheel watching people have their moment. It's the sort of moment where you think that yelling "Get a room!" might be appropriate. I am not interested in and don't fully appreciate that sort of entertainment. But maybe that's just me.
The songs were, of course, quite great. I'm sure ABBA sales are way, way up from this musical. They really have some great songs. I remember a period in my life when it was all about ABBA Gold. Anyway, the participants did a great job singing them. It was like I was at an ABBA concert, without ABBA and with a storyline. There was one time, however, when Carol hit a really loud, really long note, and I almost died from eardrum breakage. Looking around, I quickly noted that I seemed to be the only one who was bothered at all by the occurrence. So, for whatever reason, that note was really, really bad for me, but not for anyone else. Maybe I'm a teen wolf... who isn't a teen... or a wolf... just someone with hearing issues.
The only other thing I have to mention about this experience is that I got a beverage at some deli place in Mandalay Bay. It tasted like how I imagine urine tastes, but I can't be sure, having never tasted urine before. I was unable to have more than two sips of it. Also, I can't remember what beverage I ordered. It was either water or lemonade, and the weird thing is that they left to go get my drink, and it took five minutes or something. So, it was already shifty. Either way, it was vomitous.
Result: Mama Mia! is fun. Beverage: really, really bad. (And I was really, really thirsty.)