When I first heard about this musical, I tapped my interest right away, since I I do like the sound of ABBA and had been familiar to it growing up. I bought the CD when it first came out and I remember thinking that the show should have at least changed some arrangements and style of the songs. Regardless, I loved the recording and it went practically non-stop on my CD player (at that time iPods or any mp3 players were unheard of).
When the bird flu epidemic happened, The Toronto production, which had already been playing for a couple of years went to Vancouver for the most part of the Summer of 2003. This was a major event since there has never been a touring show that stayed on for more than 2 weeks in Vancouver since Rent in 1998.
Camilla Scott’s Donna was a good start to Vancouver’s premiere of the musical. Her performance was widely appreciated and was evident during curtain call.
It was a festive experience with everyone dancing the aisles and roaring their approval every time a punch line is said or whenever a show-stopping number is performed.
To sum up my first experience of this show, it just lived up to its hype.
Summer of 2004 was the time on Broadway when I couldn’t find any interesting shows to watch and since I thoroughly enjoyed the Toronto cast when they played Vancouver, I thought I’d see the show again and experience being in the Winter Garden Theater.
Same amount of energy and same amount of fun. I really enjoyed Rosie on this one and had the privilege of meeting Harriet D. Foy who played her in this production.
The third time the show had dropped by Vancouver and the second one I saw at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, it was a birthday gift form my now husband, and knowing how I love musicals, he took the trouble of securing seats for us, as he knew how I love this show.
By that time, I’ve already had some familiarity with the show having seen it previously on the same venue, as well on Broadway so I knew exactly where to look and how the blocking was to go I would have loved to worked in the sidelines on this show.
This production is just about as energetic as the previous ones, and it felt like a new experience, with a new cast that delivered a different approach but giving the same amount of energy.
Oh, and this was also the year when the movie version came out.
I believe Mamma Mia is one of those shows that can be seen over and over and still come across as fresh, having that very nostalgic and contemporary feel that really relates to generations. I don’t see this show being retooled anytime soon as it still works after all these years.