Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mamma Mia

In the world of theater, there are leading actors and character actors. Character actors predominately play quirky, eccentric roles and often look the part. By contrast, leading actors play the larger roles and are required to be flawless and breathtaking and other equivalent adjectives.

I always thought I wanted to be the leading actor. The glamorous-center-stage-everyone-focused-on-me type of actress. They get the glory, the big salary, the great wardrobe...that kind of thing. So what's not to love? But if I step back and really think about it, I often find myself drawn to the character parts as I watch movies or television or plays. Never was this more true than Friday night.

My sister, some of my drama friends and I went to see "Mamma Mia" at the Keller Auditorium. (Thank you Wendy for the tickets!) IT WAS FANTASTIC! If you love Abba, you've got to see this show. Heck, if you love musical theater, you've got to see this show. It's fun and lively and filled with great music. Just what musical theater is meant to be!

After the show was over, we were joking about producing this show next year. All of us were vying for one part...and not the lead! No, we all wanted to be the short, "fluffy", 40-something friend-of-the-mom. She got the best lines and the greatest gags and by far the most laughs. And I'm sure we weren't the only ones who felt that she stole the show since she got extra hoots and applause during the curtain call. If they'd take me, I'd gladly squeeze myself into that white spandex costume and join the tour in a heartbeat. Please, don't visualize will certainly ruin the intention. But hey, that's how much fun this part is!

If you can't tell, I love musical theater. So the question of the week is in honor of my fun night at "Mamma Mia":

What is your favorite live performing arts experience?
(Concert, dance, play, anything goes.)


Lori July 29, 2007 at 8:45 PM  

As usual, I have trouble picking just one. If I have to choose, my current fav is most likely the musical "Wicked". It's a prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" and I was lucky enough to see it on Broadway with the original cast. (Thanks Abra for hooking me up with house seats!) But I also love Rent, Les Mis and Phantom. And now, I add Mamma Mia to that list of favs. Talk about an ecclectic mix! Okay, your turn.

The Tucson Gang July 29, 2007 at 9:29 PM  

By Far - Mamma Mia!!! Your review of the show and my favorite character is so right on! Thanks for including me and thank you Wendy and Dan for the tickets! It was SOOOO much fun. I have been gushing and re-hashing the show for the last two days. By far my favorite!!!!

Thanks again! LOVED IT!!!!

Anonymous July 29, 2007 at 10:10 PM  

hmm... like you, it's nearly impossible to name just one (in fact, as you'll see, it IS impossible). but, WICKED is far and above any other show I have ever seen in my entire life. My feelings toward Wicked cannot be put into words. Also, a live Bette Midler concert trumps anything else like that. Ever seen her perform live??? No??? Then you are MISSING OUT!!! A Bette Concert has about a bazillion costume changes, a theme, a set, backup singers and dancers... and some really cool "theatre magic." It's unlike any other concert experience I've ever had. Other musicals I love are as follows, in the order of my favorites: The Color Purple, RENT, Hairspray, and Les Mis. As far as movie musicals, I love RENT, Hairspray, Moulin Rouge, and especially DREAMGIRLS!!! Sorry... there's no way you could ask me this question and expect a nice, tidy, response!! -Becci :)

Anonymous July 30, 2007 at 6:43 AM  

Man, I don't think I could limit it to just one. Mamma Mia was fantastic! But I also really liked Rent. As for costumes The Lion King wins hands down and of course the music is wonderful too! Informational tidbit-- my sister's neighbor created the costumes for the Broadway musical of The Lion King (yes in St. Helens!) I also enjoyed Cats (fun costumes too), Stomp, Phantom and the list could go on. Beth

Abra July 30, 2007 at 9:08 AM  

This is a good one Lori....I would have to say that Jersey Boys wins for me right now, the music and the story meld together to provide a night of pure energy, much like Mamma Mia! And, only because I am partial to all the shows I have worked, there is nothing like sitting backstage night after night at your makeshift office desk, working while listening to the live sounds of MISS SAIGON and LES MIS. Then being able to decide to stretch your legs and walk through the "gondola's" (What we call where the actors change their constumes in-between scenes) and goof around with the actors while they make their changes and plans for after the show, the audience none the wiser of what is going on off stage....I just love that no two performances are ever the same, it's always live! You have inspired me to get out and see more shows this coming month. Abra

Anonymous July 30, 2007 at 10:46 AM  

We saw Mamma Mia in San Francisco and the whole experience of it was just awesome. I'm a huge ABBA fan so it was hard not to jump up and sing along. But, my absolute favorite is Les Mis. I've seen it 3 times and I cry in all the same places. The music just takes my breath away.


LCM July 30, 2007 at 11:34 AM  

I absolutely loved watching Phantom of the Opera at the Curran theatre in San Francisco. The first one I saw had the best Christine, but the second one I was taking my husband for the first time to see it. Not only did I get to watch it again, but I got to watch his reactions to it. So awesome!

Anonymous July 30, 2007 at 9:29 PM  

So, I am going to be the cheese who stands alone on this one and say that my favorite is Saturday Night Fever. My love for disco would surely translate to Mamma Mia, I'm sure. So I must go see it one day :) I also loved Lion King and Wicked as well. Michelle

Anonymous July 31, 2007 at 9:22 AM  

Ohhhh. this question is too hard! I am a huge lover of the arts and especially love theater! I will never forget my first experience on Broadway, I was overwhelmed and still can be when I go. So, on Broadway, I loved Wicked and Les Miserables. Locally, I loved "Dora's Box", oh, wait, that was my one woamn show...haha, what can I say, it was the most memorable experience of my theater life! I think some of the most impressive shows I have seen here have been smaller, undergroud type theater. If you want to catch a play, keep me on speed dial :)

I am so glad you got out to see Mama Mia, I have always wanted to check it out. Thanks for the review!
PS-If you were the lead, the show would be called Mama Loria!

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