Sunday, 6 July 2008

Mama Mia Here I go Again.....

Ever so often friends visiting London want to know which musical they should go for. If it is their first musical experience I instantly recommend Mama Mia. It is a musical based on the music of the Swedish pop group of the seventies, ABBA. Mama Mia is one of the few musicals which makes everyone smile and come out of the theater dancing. Meryl Streep in a recent interview mentioned how she had taken a bunch of children to see the show two days post the 9/11 twin tower attacks. In her words the musical had such an impact that everyone felt elated post the show and more than the performance it was the music that had touched people.

I have always been partial to ABBA music as I grew up listening to the songs. Even today I remember the lyrics of most ABBA songs. My first stage performance was a rendition of the very soft ABBA song “I have a dream”. Initially I liked the songs for their cheerfulness. As I grew older I began to appreciate the melody of some and later the lyrics of still others. Every ABBA song has something unique about it. “I have a dream” is a song about hope and following your dreams. It has beautiful lyrics. “Dancing Queen” has beats that wants everyone to put on their dancing shoes at that very moment. It is contagious. “Chiquitita” is a song about friendship and understanding. It lends support. “Lay all you love on me” is an ABBA song that talks about unashamed love. It is a great humming tune. And finally one cannot forget “Thank you for the music” which I think is a great homage to music. I can safely say that whatever the mood there is an appropriate ABBA song to pep you up or broaden your smiles.

Mama Mia, the movie, released in the US yesterday and for some reason I was under the impression that it had released in the UK too. I wanted to catch the first show of the second day. When I realized that the movie releases in the UK only next week I was quite disappointed and in order to make up for my disappointment put on my ABBA Golden Hits CD. I was listening to ABBA after ages and it made me realize how powerful this music is.

ABBA is probably one of the few pop groups to have gained universal praise and acceptance. Even 25 years after they split, the group is popular from the US to Australia and with all age groups. There are at least two movies made inspired by the group’s music and now the musical has been made into a Hollywood film starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. The number of documentaries (on the group) telecast is innumerable. The musical is also amongst the most popular ones running to packed houses daily, forget getting discounted tickets. ABBA is a rare phenomena and one I am very thankful for. If you have not had the chance to experience it, watch the movie. I am certain you will not be disappointed.

PS: Some my personal favourite musicals (other than Mama Mia)
1. Phantom of the Opera (an absolute classic)
2. Lion King (very different and a unique experience)
3. Blood Brothers (absolutely fabulous music and performances)
4. Les Miserables (grand sets and production value)
5. We Will Rock You (based on the music of the legendary Queen)
6. Mary Poppins (no longer playing in London)
7. Footloose (no longer playing in London)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I did see the film Mamma Mia and I loved it! :-)

They all have done a great job in the movie.