Mamma’s in Vegas Again. Oh How We Missed Her!

by DW Grant

MAMMA MIA Las Vegas

She?s back! MAMMA MIA!

After a very long 5 year absence from The Strip the longest running West End/Broadway musical in Las Vegas history is on stage again, this time at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino.

From February 2003 to January 2009 the fun mix of ABBA songs, woven into a cute little story, made us wave our hands in the air and dance in aisles. It seems those 2100 performances were not enough, however, thank god, and now we can “ABBA” all over again.

Like the lyrics say:

Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you
Mamma mia, does it show again
My my, just how much I’ve missed you

MAMMA MIA! first took the stage in San Francisco, at the Orpheum Theatre, in November 2000, and blossomed out to Los Angeles, Chicago, then finally Broadway in October 2001. It is currently the ninth longest-running Broadway show. Back here in Vegas the show is dazzling us again, with the music, the fun characters, the 70s costumes, and addictive melodies. I guarantee you will be singing at least one ABBA song on the way home, and wake up with one on your lips the next morning.

The story is lite, cute, and simple. A girl living in the Greek Isles is getting married and wants her estranged dad at the wedding. She invites the three men who could be her father, they all show up at once, and the fun begins. And the fun continues, in and out of one ABBA song after another, until the mess is straightened out. The show is fun because of its simplicity, and because the performers seem to be having fun, just like the audience.

Some have criticized the show of being too “sitcom” like, but then praised it for its entertainment value. Until I saw this production I only considered MAMMA MIA! shallow pop fun, too, However, the show?s players handed me more depth than I expected.

MAMMA MIA! Las Vegas

Christine Sherrill, as Donna, the mother and one night lover of the three possible fathers, is marvelous, and oh so believable. Kimbre Lancaster, delivers the passion and innocence of Sophie, the daughter, in a very moving performance, as well.

Sitting stage side I was granted a close up view of the actors as they played their parts. Donna?s “Winner Take All” was rousing, and she looked and sounded like she believed it. I also saw tears in the eyes of Sophie when she sung “I Have a Dream,” and tears too when Sam and Donna sang “S.O.S.” Sam is played by Sean Allen Krill, and his energy and believability more than matches Ms. Sherill?s.

So when you’re near me, darling can’t you hear me
S. O. S.
And the love you gave me, nothing else can save me
S. O. S.
When you’re gone
How can I even try to go on?
When you’re gone
Though I try how can I carry on?
When you’re gone
How can I even try to go on?
When you’re gone
Though I try how can I carry on?

Welcome home Mamma.

MAMMA MIA! Las Vegas

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