In 2009, my daughter watched Mamma Mia! on HBO every time it was on. She was obsessed. OBSESSED. The movie released in 2008, the summer of 2008. I was pregnant with my son, The Boy, and there was no way I would have gone to the movie theatre to see it. We rarely head to the movies, to be honest. It’s one of the last things on our “to do” list……but man, when it showed up on HBO, I sat down to watch it the first night it was done for HBO. If you don’t have HBO, normally every Saturday night they debut a new movie. I thought the movie was great, and I love ABBA, so it was perfect for me.
My husband complains that I watch movies over, and over, and over. He’s right. I’d rather do that than watch half the shows on TV. Soooooo, the following day, it was on again, and Little Miss was playing, The Boy was in his swing. As usual in 2009, we were preparing to vacate the condo so it could be shown. It was our normal weekend routine, so having Little Miss engrossed in this movie, was very helpful that morning. I was able to get everything cleaned, put away, and packed up. She just sat there, watched, danced, and jived.
After that morning, if she even heard a note from one of the songs from the movie, she would yell out Mamma Mia! My mother even bought the DVD for her to watch, because she loved it that much. When Little Miss saw Meryl Streep in any other movie, she would recognize her as Mamma Mia! Even The Boy, as he got a little older, would bounce to the songs. We lived, breathed, and sang Mamma Mia! for at least one full year NON-STOP. It died down a bit, but when we did catch it on the TV, she would have to watch it, and soon, The Boy, older now, would want to watch it as well.
With two huge fans of this movie, I jumped at the chance to see Mamma Mia! on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City. Since we live rather close to the city (just a train ride away,) it was a perfect way to introduce Broadway to the kids! It did NOT disappoint. The current cast is DYNAMITE. At least most of them, I could do without the young man who plays Sky. His name is Zak Resnick. My issue with him? He’s too tall for this role. Well, he’s too tall for the girl who plays Sophie, Christy Altomare. He spent most of the show hunched over when interacting with her, and it was rather annoying. His singing wasn’t as powerful as the rest of the cast, either. Perhaps with more experience he’ll improve?
The lead, Judy McLane, who plays Donna Sheridan…..she’s got a killer voice, plus she can act. One of my favorite scenes is when she first sees the three potential fathers of Sophie. She’s singing, acting, and the entire time carrying a screw gun. Now that’s a hardcore chick! And the one who stole the show? Well, Felicia Finley, who plays Tanya……..she was fantastic, funny, and she’s got a great voice. Although, there were a few times she got a little drowned out by the orchestra. Laruen Cohn did a great job as Rosie, and one of my favorite parts of the show was her “Take a Chance on Me,” with Daniel Cooney’s, Bill Austin.
What did I love the MOST about the show? Watching my kids watch the show. The Boy was up, dancing the whole time. My daughter just watched, eyes big as day, and no movement at all. She just took it all in, and when I asked her how she was liking it, she’d nod, without taking her eyes off the stage. Her only question: Where is Mamma Mia!? She was expecting Meryl Streep to be out there, dancing around. I told her “this isn’t the movie, honey, it’s Broadway.”
They don’t allow photos in the theatre. Other people broke the rules, snapped photos, but I’m not into that kind of thing. If they ask you not to, then I don’t. I just snapped a photo of the kids at the show, for their baby books. It was there first official Broadway show. My reason for telling you this? If you’re planning on going to the show, and you want to do it on a budget, I would say the theatre is small enough that even if you end up in the far back Mezzanine section….you’ll still have a great time.
We got lucky, we were in the best seats you could imagine, Orchestra in Section A. The seats are comfy, the kids even got boosters for the seats, which were great for them. If you have the extra money, I highly recommend being that close. It was amazing. We were so close we could see the mics in their hair, and it was awesome. The outfits, up close like that, were spectacular. The colors, the way they sparkled. My daughter loves Orange, and boy was there a lot of orange in the final wedding scene.
After the final wedding scene, they go on to do a couple of different routines, sort of like at the end of the movie. The outfits they put on the three leading men…….wowsa. Talk about seeing the whole package! All of them look like astronauts without the helmets, and in bright, ABBA-like colors. It was great.
And you can get up and dance if you want to, they encourage it. Nothing like an entire theatre up on their feet, dancing to ABBA songs, and singing at the top of their lungs. The kids LOVED it. Plus, you really don’t notice how long the show is. It’s so fast moving, and fun, the intermission comes super fast……and then you’re back into the show, and it just speeds by! Before you know it, the shows over, you’re moving out the doors, and back onto the streets of New York.
Even though there were a few “over their head” lines, and gestures, I’d have to say, it’s a great show to bring the kids to. If the kids are a little older, they might understand some of the things that went over my kids’ heads, but all-in-all, it’s nothing worse than some of the stuff on TV these days. It’s done in a comical way, and it wasn’t anything I was embarrassed by. Kids know more than we think they do……….innuendo, or no innuendo.
Depending on when you go, and where you want to sit, you can tickets as low as $62.00 (before all those sneaky extra fees.) If you’re looking for Orchestra, you’ll pay anywhere from $132 up to $200+. Again, depends on where you want to sit, and when you want to go. If you end up in the Mezzanine, you won’t be disappointed in the show. Those voices are amazing, and it’s still not that far from the stage. It’s a great time. Just bring your own snacks, they charge way too much for candy and water, that’s for sure! And if you want to check your coat, you can. We didn’t, but you can. I don’t know if it’s an extra charge, probably not, but figure you’ll have to tip them, so to save a little bit, keep your coat with you.