Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mamma Mia! Here I Go Again!

Last night, my wife, Carla, and I had the opportunity to go see Mamma Mia! on opening night at the Palace Theatre in Columbus and what a fun time we had!

Over the last couple of years, we have really come to appreciate all of the great Broadway Across America shows that CAPA brings to Central Ohio. For us, it all started when we saw Mamma Mia! the last time it was in Columbus and we have been hooked ever since and try to go whenever it fits into our busy schedules and tight budget. We've even introduced our kids to a couple of shows as they have now seen Wicked and Mary Poppins and loved both of them.

Back to last night's show...we arrived along with what appeared on the main level to be a near capacity crowd who all seemed eager to have a fun evening. Once the doors opened and we all settled into our seats, the fun began and ran uninterrupted nearly three hours with one intermission between the two acts.

The setting is a Greek island where a wedding is about to take place. It's the story of a single mom (Donna) and her daughter (Sophie) and everything that has led up to this big day. There are lots of twists and turns and plenty of laughs as Sophie tries to figure out who is going to walk her down the aisle on her big day. And, it's all set to the backdrop of ABBA's greatest hits!

Chloe Tucker, who plays Sophie, is a bundle of energy as she handles the role effortlessly. She has good chemistry with Happy Mahaney (Sky) and is equally as talented vocally as she is delivering her lines with both dramatic and comedic timing. If you really want to see her enjoying herself, watch her get after it during the finale. That alone might be worth the price of admission. She was also nice enough to chat with Carla and I after the show, and I found it refreshing how much she still thrives on the role with more than a year of doing it under her belt.

Kaye Tuckerman, who plays Donna, also did a solid job in her role. She nailed all the songs although there were a few times that the sound just was not quite loud enough on some of the quieter parts. It didn't detract from the overall performance, but it would be the only negative that I could find in the show.

For me, what makes the show so much fun are the great comedic relief moments provided by the supporting cast. Donna's old friends and former band members, Tanya (Alison Ewing) and Rosie (Mary Callanan), steal the scenes over and over again and will have you laughing until your sides hurt. Donna's old flames, Sam (Christian Whelan), Bill (John-Michael Zuerlein), and Harry (Paul DeBoy), also each play their roles with gusto and are very talented. And the ensemble cast is very good and works together like one big, happy family. There's even a dance routine in scuba gear that is hilarious.

If you are looking for an entertaining night out that will have you at the very least laughing at the dialogue and tapping your feet to the music, then Mamma Mia! is definitely the show for you. It will continue its run at the Palace Theatre through December 18 and you can find tickets by contacting the CAPA ticket office. This is one show that shouts "Take a Chance on Me" and is well worth it.