Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mama Mia Sweeps SD on their Broadway Tour

By Kristen Fogle
Mamma Mia!The only two vinyls I remember from my early childhood are as follows: an album of songs from Disney’s Main Street Electrical Light Parade…and ABBA’s Greatest Hits.

So for me, seeing Mama Mia was not only a lively way to spend an evening theater going, it was also a salute to that old childhood LP and others like it. All of ABBA’s hits were present, from “Honey, Honey” and “Money, Money, Money” to “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” (Which P.S., made me realize just how repetitive a lot of ABBA’s song titles really are.)

In its 11th year, from May 31-June 5, the Civic Theater hosted this tribute with a vibrant and talented cast. In case you’ve never seen the show or the 2008 movie with Amanda Seyfried and Meryl Streep, the plot goes a lil somthin’ like this: Sophia Sheridan, at 20 years, is getting married and hasn’t a clue as to who her dad is, a piece of info that her once promiscuous mom (Donna Sheridan) doesn’t even know the answer to! To find out, Sophia invites three men to her wedding that had relations with her mother around the time of her conception. Hilarity ensues as Sophia tries to find out which one is her father, all while keeping her intentions mum to…well, her mum.

Standouts in the cast were most certainly Kaye Tuckerman (Donna Sheridan) and newcomer Chloe Tucker (Sophia Sheridan). Kaye’s Donna rocked it from the time she hit the stage with her off-kilter overalls and kept the magic going all the way into the last encore performance (clad in a killer Elvis style suit, which showed off her quite enviable physique). Chloe evoked the charm and innocence needed to propel Sophia into the hearts of audience members and boasts a voice that could be well suited to any major theatrical production—we no doubt will see her again soon. Fun fellow actresses included Donna Sheridan’s two buds Tanya (a provocative man killer) and Rosie (a large but lovable gal who did a hilarious “Take a Chance on Me”).

All in all, my evening involving a silly romp about finding a father before saying “I Do” was fun and reminded me of songs I haven’t heard since I was wee. But though I enjoyed the music, the melodies sometimes seemed awkwardly placed, almost hastily thrown into the middle of scenes. The actors and actresses never skipped a beat though, and criticisms can only be saved for a script that may undergo the same transformation as “A Chorus Line,” which can no doubt be applauded as a hit in its day, but now is regarded as a slightly outdated piece of theatrical history.

On the other hand, with expressive, dynamic cast members and a script featuring baby daddy drama, how outdated can this theatrical feel-good get? Fans can only decide as the troupe reveals “The Name of the Game” to other U.S. cities on their tour.

To see the next location on Mamma Mia’s Broadway tour, please visit 

To find out about other shows offered by Broadway San Diego, please visit


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