Mammia mia! Why do certain reviews of MAMMA MIA! contain snippets that sound similar to a glitzy press release? A “wild and splashing summer island party complete with…super catchy tunes we couldn’t help but sing along to.” Well, yes…of course?
Yet, MAMMA MIA! does beget such superficial responses. There is nothing wrong with flamboyant numbers and extravagant costumes. Watching big musicals is fun! But Chiquitita, you and I know, musicals can aspire to be more than just light entertainment. The Lion King explores familial love and Wicked! tackles female friendships. MAMMA MIA! has ABBA songs that er, looks at both? To its benefit, MAMMA MIA! does take small strides in poking fun at sexism, with the female-led “Does Your Mother Know” sounding less predatory. But perhaps it is too much to ask for a flashy musical to dismantle the patriarchy.
It is impossible to ignore what MAMMA MIA! really is: a musical medley of ABBA hits, with a semblance of a plot somewhere. But just having your mum sing along to “Waterloo” with fellow aunties is worth the ticket price itself. The musical truly is fun for the whole family.