When the overture starts, thick with synthesizers, a spark of energy shoots through the crowd. Some dance in their seats; others mouth the words to the songs. The anticipation is heavy, and as the curtain rises, you can’t help but feel a bit excited, even if seeing the show for the third, fourth or tenth time.
Just as much of an experience as it is a musical, the musical Mamma Mia!, now onstage at the Fox Theatre, is one of the most fun nights you can have at the theater, and you will surely leave with a smile and pep in your step.
Based on the music of ABBA, the story of Sophie (Chelsea Williams) and her mother, Donna (Georgia Kate Haege), has endured itself to countless people around the world. With a Broadway smash, a hit movie and now a cruise ship production, audiences can’t get enough of the quirky comedy and the dazzling 70s inspired costumes that make an appearance.
Sophie is about to get married, but she has an unanswered question she must figure out before the ceremony: she must find out who her father is. After finding her mother’s diary, she invites three of her mother’s ex-lovers to the wedding, knowing that one of them could be her father. Only they think Donna has invited them, and Donna doesn’t even know they have been invited. Events are set into motion that could unravel the wedding plans.
The score, which has been tightly integrated into the story, features classic hits such as “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Take a Chance on Me,” which clearly energized an already enthusiastic crowd on opening night.
If you haven’t seen the show in a while, you might want to revisit it with this production. Featuring one of the strongest casts the tour has brought to Atlanta, the musical won’t disappoint. Perfectly cast as Donna, Haege draws the audience into the show with her warmth and powerful vocals. Completing the mother-daughter tandem, Williams gives Sophie a charm that is inviting, which draws the audience into the story from the opening scene.
A special in the Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta series, Mamma Mia! plays through September 28, 2014 at the Fox Theatre in midtown. Tickets are available at the Fox Theatre box office, online or by phone at 855-285-8499. For more information on the show or the series, please visit http://www.broadwayinatlanta.com/. The show’s run time is around two and a half hours with an intermission. For those who haven’t seen the show before, be sure to stick around after the curtain call for an encore performance.
– Kenny Norton