Mamma Mia!, the musical based on the songs of ABBA, is currently playing at the Orpheum Theatre through April 29. This is the fifth time that Mamma Mia! has played in Minnesota, and for many in the audience this was a repeat performance.
I first reviewed Mamma Mia! in 2010. If you are not familiar with the story feel free to go back and read that review. Actually very little has changed since I saw that production, except for the cast. I enjoyed Kaye Tuckerman as Donna and Chloe Tucker as her daughter Sophie in the current show—they have the looks and chemistry to convincingly play the single mother who is preparing to watch her only child get married at the young age of 20.
There is really nothing to dislike about Mamma Mia! It is a high-spirited celebration of the familiar music of ABBA with a story entwined around hits such as “Dancing Queen,” “Thank You For The Music,” “S.O.S.,” and 19 others. The dancing is energetic, the costuming is fun, and the set is simple and blends into the background while creating the structure of a small hotel on a Greek island.
The current cast is strong from the top to the bottom, with the highest accolades going to the older generation. Tuckerman is supported by Alison Ewing and Mary Callanan as her former girl band members and best friends who arrive on the Greek island to be at the wedding. Ewing and Callanan have no problem handling the comedic roles handed to them and seem to be having as much fun as the audience. The younger members of the ensemble rightfully follow the lead of these three as they joyfully cavort through the story of Chloe’s desire to have her dad at her wedding—the problem being that there are three possibilities, and she has never met any of them. Of course she secretly invites all three, old friendships are renewed, broken hearts are mended, and all live happily ever after.
Even if you can’t make your way to a Greek island, you can go to the Orpheum and find yourself transported, by the songs of ABBA, to a joyful place.
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