The 10th Anniversary Tour of Mamma Mia has opened in Sydney and I went last night and took my ABBA Fanatic Mother along for the ride. I remember seeing the show twice when it was here last, so was eagerly looking forward to having that same experience again with a somewhat fresh cast.
We took our seats, the overture played and then we were welcomed by Sophie played by Suzie Mathers. After ‘Honey, Honey’, performed by Sophie and her friends Ali and Lisa I knew that the production was going to be a little different as Suzie played the character of Sophie as the girl next door. I straight away drew a resemblance between her and Cameron Diaz. This was quite different to how I remembered Sophie in the last production.
During the first few songs I leant over to mum to ask if she thought the music and singing was a little to soft, not enough volume and she was thinking the same thing. I took a deep sigh of relief as I thought all those years of having the music up too loud on my iPod was finally doing damage but when my housemate said to me when I got home “Why wasn’t the music pumping all the way through, not just the end” I knew it wasn’t just me.
Anne Wood who returns as Donna was still looking and acting great but her voice struggled to cut through in parts which seemed easy when the show first opened in Australia a few years ago. Donna’s friends Rosie (Lara Mulcahy) and Tanya (Jennifer Vuletic) still had the chops to play and sing these characters extremely well. I’m sure these two didn’t find it hard to get back into the swing of things. Lara received a loud applause during her bow at the end of the show. Both of these characters were extremely likable and had the audience laughing each time they hit the stage.
I forgot that the ensemble actually don’t do a huge amount of dancing in this show, which is a shame as there are quite a few talented young performers in this production. They spend most of their time moving the stage and props around although they do provide some great backing vocals and strong harmonies during most of the songs.
If you have seen the film which I have tried to watch twice and have failed miserably getting through, Sophie’s potential Dads play a crucial role in the story. Michael Cormick who plays the main role out of the males is simply brilliant as Sam and was a standout performer. Not only has he kept his good looks and powerful voice he is an extremely natural actor.. Robert Grubb and Peter Hardy also did a great job as Harry and Bill. There was a great stage chemistry between the three males.
The music is what makes this show. If you’re an ABBA fan you will be singing and dancing for the whole two hours. The songs are written into the show very cleverly and you never know what song you’ll hear next which is a bonus the first time around. This being my third time I knew what was coming but still had a chuckle to myself especially during ‘Take A Chance On Me.
The end of this production has always been my favourite as the music pumps loudly and they have you up dancing and singing for the last ten minutes. Last night it was like the sound technicians finally found the volume control, unfortunately it was an hour and fifty minutes too late.
Overall Mamma Mia is a good night out if you’re looking for some entertainment provided by great Aussie talent with familiar and fun music.
For more info on Mamma Mia go to www.mamma-mia.com.au.