Friday, October 04, 2013

Surprisingly Good

After last week's folly at the Amway Center I was really leery about how well I'd enjoy the musical I went to last night, "Mamma Mia!" Again I was forced to squeeze my butt into a tiny, moldy Bob Carr seat but that was really the only negative of the night. The performance, the music and even the sound system, lighting and staging were all superb.

I'd never seen this musical before and I hadn't seen the movie so I really had no clue as to what it was about. I vaguely knew it was about a young girl about to be married on a Greek island. I really feared it might be a musical version of something like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" with lots of sterotypically loud and boisterous ethnic people. Thankfully it wasn't.

Wow, that comes across racist, eh? It's just that although I don't mind rom-coms revolving around that tried-and-true-though-somewhat-overused quirky ethnic family theme, the wonderful "Moonstruck" comes to mind, I was in the mood for less garlic and more "gaiety," like "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." Well, that's what this was exactly! It was, essentially, "Priscilla" without the drag queens. It even had a lot of the same music, some Day-Glo costuming and a splash or two of hot shirtless men. Gots to have me my hot shirtless men!

The plot was a bit far-out-there but that's not at all unheard of in musical farce. Think of "The Producers" and how unrealistic that plot was. Doesn't detract from anything since the silliness of it all just adds to the fun. The word ABBA. If, like me, you've loved ABBA from the start and continued to do so even when it wasn't cool, you'll know and love the score. (I actually remember the derision I endured back in the seventies when some kids in class asked me what groups I liked to listen to and I stupidly admitted "ABBA." My rep was sealed for the rest of my school days. I was a fag. LOL now, but a pain in the ass back then.)

There were parts that were sung more subtly and scenes where the dialog and action was muted, attempting to reiterate ad-infinitum the plot premise. Yes, we get it, these guys are the potential daddies and mommy doesn't know why there here. It got repetitive and draggy and started to make me sleepy. But it wasn't long before a rousing ABBA tune was belted out accompanied by super-energetic dancing to snap me out of my stupor.

Overall, it definitely made up for the Italian Idol blunder of last week. And, since the only downside was again, the seating, it made the Bob Carr tolerable for yet one last time. Well, maybe. The new venue, from the still exposed iron I-beam skeleton of it, isn't going to be finished until, I'd guess, late next year. So my butt better get thinner 'cause I may have to plop down in one of those nasty, creaky kiddie chairs yet again.

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