Mamma mia is well know for being one of the most fun Broadway shows now available in New York City. I was fortunate enough to go see it last week, on a two-day Wednesday performance at the Winter Garden Theatre and I have to admit it was hugely fun to watch and overall very artful in creating an amazing atmosphere for the audience.
I’m, of course, not a critic and perhaps many details are therefore overlooked or even not mentioned, however I would love to try a clear view for upcoming viewers of the show and perhaps help you in deciding what to watch when going to Broadway.
So, a couple of things I want to highlight. First, the seatings were really good at an affordable price right on the orchestra section, middle-center 109 and 110 seats row K. I highly recommend this seatings. Perfect view of the whole stage and company at all times. However, as being the first Wednesday of the month, it was “Kids Night on Broadway” so you could imagine how kids may have behaved on a two-hour show with a 15 minutes intermission play. Bumpy show for a lay-back audience as myself.
Anyway, secondly, performances. I was lucky enough to see almost the whole official cast – with the exception of Rosie’s role, usually played by Gina Farrel, on that occasion performed by stand-by Lory Haley Fox. I like to think critics are more about taste than reality. Therefore, they are all extremelly subjective on every line, and of course I’m no exception. Having said this, lets start reviewing performances. First, “Donna” played by Carolee Carmelo. Briliant performance for this women. Great comic timing and outstanding vocals for this experienced actress. Still I sometimes though her vocal timbre was to low pitched and lyrical for such role. However, it’s one of the most powerfull voices I got to see. Then, Sophie played by Brandi Burkhardt. I was really surprised by her (obviously, as I have never heard of her before). But take aback not because of being one of the most gorgeous performers I’ve ever met, but because her voice was just there, perfect, in the zone for this role. Sweet, tender and with a velvety voice, Brandi accomplished to bring me into her character and got me feel everything her character felt on stage. Her voice was just sweet melody for my ears. I would definitely, withouth a doubt, would love to see more of her in Broadway in the future. As regarding the “Dynamos”: “Tanya” (Judi McLane) and “Rosie” (Lory Haley Fox) , they both were very suitable for the role. Judi seemed much more outgoing and playing along with her role than Lory. However, both were -without a doubt- hillaious at some moments of the play sealing great memories within the audience. Vocals, were really powerfull but the show still somehow creates the illusion that you could jump onstage and start singing and fit right in.
Dads: portrayed by Bryan Scott Johnson as Harry Bright, Sean Allan Krill as Sam Carmichael, and Pearce Bunting as Bill Austin. The three of them were perfect for each role, I was amazed by the stamina they all presented, specially by Bryan, but Sean Allan Krill was a bit ahead of the rest singing amazingly outstanding tunes with a perfection I had barely seen before. His voice was just right for every piece and his executions and how he approached the songs were perfect on every level.
In overall, Mamma mia presents an amazing ABBA-song-based story that will lead you back in time through the paths of love, to encouter cumulative emotional feelings a long a whole two-hours fun show. It’s just suitable for everybody and I can guarantee, you’ll go out hafly amazed and hafly embarrassed at having enjoyed it.
Music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus; some songs with Stig Anderson. Based on the songs of Abba. Book by Catherine Johnson. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Production designed by Mark Thompson; lighting by Howard Harrison; sound by Andrew Bruce and Bobby Aitken. Musical supervisor, additional material and arrangements by Martin Koch; choreography by Anthony Van Laast. Presented by Judy Craymer, Richard East and Mr. Ulvaeus, for Littlestar in association with Universal. At the Winter Garden, 1634 Broadway, at 50th Street.