REVIEW: Mamma Mia! is the perfect summer musical
GET ready to be transported to Greece with Mamma Mia! The Musical returning to QPAC for the summer holidays.
Created by Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA fame, and written by written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, Mamma Mia! has taken the ABBA legacy into the future by reinventing the magic of the music hits into a stage musical that first opened in 1999.
With Natalie O'Donnell as Donna Sheridan, Sarah Morrison as Sophie Sheridan and Jayde Westaby as the hilarious Tanya, this production is a party you do not want to miss.
But for those who have seen the 2008 film but not the original stage version, you are in for surprise: the production is fast-paced and delivers musical dishes that are well-known hits like grandma's cooking but prepared to perfection.
The cast's voices are superb, particularly among the more seasoned performers, with a hilarious double-whammy in Alicia Gardiner as Rosie and London's Westaby as Tanya.
This last one is dangerously close to a stealing the show, offering dance, singing and acting skills that are matched perfectly by the grace and comedic timing of Australia's Gardiner - a viewer favourite on the TV series Offspring.
Among the male dads-to-be cast for this production, Josef Ber as Bill Austin, Ian Stelnake as Sam Carmichael and Phillip Lowe as Harry Bright are all perfect in their roles, better possibly than their film counterparts.
But the ones who truly stand out in this production are director Gary Young and musical supervisor Stephen Amos.
Young and Amos takes us to the little island in Greece, re-invent the ABBA hits while keeping them 'our' ABBA and the cast follows suit.
An estimated 60 million people have seen Mamma Mia! in 20 languages around the world, including the first ever Mandarin speaking production of a western musical in China.
So, if they took a chance on Mamma Mia! in China, and they truly loved it, why wouldn't you?
Remember, the winner takes it all.
Mamma Mia! plays at Brisbane QPAC Lyric Theatre until February 4.