Concert Reviews

Live Theater Review: ‘MAMMA MIA!’

Listen up! There is a show in town you need to check out at the Palace Theatre….but do it quick! It’s only here a few more days. (Performances through 11/15 only.) The play: Mamma Mia! $10 seats are available if you don’t want to sell any stock to see a Broadway play!

The story line is simple: A twenty year old girl is getting married, but does not know who her father is. There are three possibilities, and she invites each of them to her wedding with the conviction that she will know who her dad is when she meets him. Wrong! And then the fun begins…

The strongest aspect of this stage play is the music. The way Abba’s classic songs are woven into the storyline is simply brilliant.

The character of Sophie (Liana Hunt), while very beautiful and a great physical actress, sang just a little too quietly for such a large venue. Everyone in the theatre was leaning forward and being oh-so-still because they knew if they didn’t, they would surely not be able to hear her.

The one who stole the show was Kittra Wynn Comomer, who played Rosie. Her physical comedy and timing were EXCELLENT, and most importantly, she could sing as well.

Now for the understudies……which there were four of on opening night; one of those playing the lead of Donna Sheridan. Hats off to stepping up to the plate and while not hitting a home run; definitely a triple. The understudy for the character, Tanya, did quite an admirable job. Again, I had to admire how much “Tanya” and “Rosie” made me laugh…and laugh…and laugh!

My Three Fathers, John Hemphill as Sam Carmichael, Martin Kildaare as Bill Austin, and Michael Aaron Lindner as Harry Bright were very convincing because they actually were all old enough to actually be Sophie’s father! They were not “movie star” good-looking (no offense, fellas), which made them even that more convincing.

The other two understudies (who played Sky and Pepper) made passing grades.

The chorus receives an A+. Such energy, such vocals, such excellent dancing.

A nod to the pit, as they took the old music and added some runs and extra notes which did not go unnoticed, at least by this theater-goer. I enjoyed the “extras” they threw in to keep me on my listening toes.

I highly suggest that you expand your repertoire and “Take a Chance” on this fun tour through the seventies. “The Winner (does) Take It All” in this feel-good production. I promise you will want to become a “Dancing Queen” (or King) and you will not be sending an “SOS” asking to be rescued. Rather, you will be glad that you spent your “Money Money Money” on this date with your “Honey Honey” and be ready for your favorite someone to tell you to “Lay All your Love On Me” after the show!

Mamma Mia! plays at the Palace Theater at PlayhouseSquare through 11/15. This performance engagement is a part of the Smart Seats program at PlayhouseSquare that offers smart entertainment at a smart price. For a complete list of show times and ticket information, visit PlayhouseSquare’s official site .

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