||Amid all the comedy and theatrics, the
story was quite touching, and the characters well-realized.
I never expected this production to be so
funny. It kept me laughing through the entire first act. Although the
second act was not as funny, it, too, had its comedic moments, while the story came
to the forefront.
This is not high art -so much of the
comedy is very crude, and it's hilarious. Seeing Donna's two friends
sing Chiquitita to her was completely unexpected, and, as such, was made
The show actually starts out on a
serious note, and I don't think there is very much comedy in the
Prologue, except in a certain school-girl giggly kind of way. Sophie is
wondering about her dad, who she has invited to her wedding in three
months' time. Of course, the trick is that she doesn't know who her dad
is, so she has invited all three people whom her mother slept with
during a fun and sex-filled couple of weeks twenty years ago. Now all
three have accepted the invitations, but her mother doesn't know they
The first act plays through the
reunion, when Sophie asks the three men not to tell her mother that they
were invited to the wedding, and then Donna meets them as well. She has
different recollections for all of them, interspersed with more Abba
songs. All the acting and singing was great here. Donna doesn't know why
these ghosts from her past have come back to haunt her. Sophie thought
she would recognize her father when she saw him, but she sees parts of
herself in all three men.
The sidekicks keep things going.
Donna's two friends have grown up in different ways, but they still
manage to keep her young. One has had so much plastic surgery, the other
is a little heftier than she was when they formed a pop group. Seeing
them sing Super Trouper at Sophie's bachelorette party was a blast.
Donna's two friends don't get too much
to do except be supportive of her. Her fiancÚ, Sky, has a couple of
friends as well, and they were hilarious. Typical guys, they flirt with
the girls, and really just show up for the wedding, doing nothing else
about it. Pepper in particular, was the funniest. He was constantly
hitting on Donna's friend Tanya, obviously taken sexually with her fake
The three "dads" actually take the shock
of their situation fairly well. Sophie takes them aside and each one
discovers on his own that he might be her father. Each one is shocked,
but takes pride, promising to walk her down the aisle the next day.
From having no dad to walk her down the aisle, suddenly she has three!
The day of the wedding comes, and
Sophie is getting panicked, to the point where she confesses to Sky what
she did, and he stalks away, angry that she didn't share it with him.
Donna, meanwhile, gets visits from two
of the three men to her room as she is preparing for the day. Harry
tries to pay for the wedding, remembering the good times they had in
Paris before he followed her to Greece. Sam, the conceited architect,
who obviously still pines for Donna, thinks they should get back
together, not just for Sophie's sake, but he is rebuffed (by Donna singing
"The Winner Takes it all"). Bill, meanwhile, has a conversation with
Donna's friend Rosie, where they finally admit their feelings for one
another, as he frets about Sophie's wedding. Each of these
confrontations is accompanied by a great rendition of appropriate songs,
but ones that I never would have thought of using! So many of the songs
take on totally different connotations than when they are heard on the
radio, just because of who is singing, and what they are talking about.
My father was a great Abba fan, and I
used to skate (in circles forever...) at the local arena in the late
1970s, so I heard a lot of Abba when I was growing up. I knew all the
beats, and couldn't keep still through these songs. It was great to see
some hilarious situations and unexpected singers singing them. The only
song that I expected in the proper place was "I do, I do, I do, I do, I
do." However, even that wasn't totally expected, as Sophie decides at
the last second that she was getting married for the wrong reasons, and
calls it off. Instead, Sam decides that it would be a shame to waste a
wedding, and proposes to Donna!
While it was a shame to see that Sophie
and Sky didn't end up getting married (I thought they could have had a
double wedding, since they loved each other so much anyway), the scene
at the chapel was still very touching. Sophie decided that she wanted
her mother to walk her down the aisle instead of her potential father,
leaving each of the men confused. They each decide that they are proud
to be even one third of Sophie's father -and Sam announces to Donna that
he is actually gay!
The presentation was a pure comedy,
especially where Donna is concerned, but it had some very touching
moments concerning Sophie as she tries to figure out who she is, through
who her father is. The sets were simple, yet beautiful all the same.
There was a cool path that rose into a raised walkway when needed, which
I appreciated a lot.
All in all, this was a great, and very
fun production. It didn't blow me away, but it did surprise me, and I
laughed a lot.