Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mamma Mia: My, My, Why Can't I Resist You?

I am a Mamma Mia fan that includes both the movie and the musical. That doesn't make me unique. In fact, 50 million people have counted themselves fans of the musical which opened in West End in 1999. And by the way, the movie was the highest grossing film in Britain until Avatar. That's how good it is. What I like about the franchise is its ultimate feel-good packaging plus the fact that you can sing to all the songs that the actors are belting. That comes from a child of the 90s who has boy band and grunge marked all over her face. How much more if you are a child of the flower power generation? I bet the musical would mean so much more to you with the flared pants and the platforms overload. 

My love affair with Mamma Mia started with the 2008 movie, it was too heartwarming for me that I sang all the songs for at least a week. I even offered to watch it again with Person A since he was away from civilization when it was shown in movie theaters and gave my Mom a DVD of the movie. I consider it the ultimate Mom-daughter bonding film.

With its month-run in Manila, Person A thinks its worth scraping off some cash for a Mamma Mia date night. Armed with an ABBA-induced high from playing the soundtrack half a day before the show, off we trooped to CCP on a Saturday night. We arrived an hour before curtain opens giving us ample time to park the car and grab quick dinner. Mind you, it was quick dinner since most restaurants are packed and order time took 20 minutes! If you want a leisurely dinner, be at the CCP complex 1.5 hours before, have dinner beside the bay and this would give you ample time to order coffee at Starbucks where some of the casts hang out before call time. Shhhh.... that's our little secret.

This is us while waiting for our Japanese dinner . 

Sex(a)y british accent heralds the start of the show. Mamma Mia is set on a Greek Island of Calicos where 20-year old Sophie is to get married in a day. She is single-handedly raised by her Mum, Donna, who runs a taverna. Sophie doesn't know who her dad is but she invited three men to her wedding whom her Mum had ... dot, dot, dot with ... the time she was conceived. And so the fun starts with ABBA hits sung all throughout the story. 

Sara Poyzer (Donna) and Charlotte Wakefield (Sophie) play the mother-daughter tandem. According to Person A, he likes Sara's portrayal best. My favorite among the Donna and Sophie's numbers are Mamma Mia, Honey Honey... all of it.

Presenting the dashing dads! Sam, Bill and Harry. 

I think everyone would agree that Donna and the Dynamos is one of the highlights of the show. My favorite is their Super Trooper performance and Rosie's Take a Chance on Me number.

Kate Graham (left) plays Tanya while Jennie Dale (right) plays Rosie. Rosie provides the most comic relief.

I can't help but sing during the entire show. I was holding back a bit considering I had to watch my theater etiquette. It was awesome, worth the price you paid for. There's a three-song concert at the end of the show. Wait for that, the whole house was on their feet and singing to the songs. 

Before I summarize this post, there's an interesting ad in the CCP lobby.

Is it coming to Manila? Person A is excited. He's an Andrew Lloyd Webber fan!

Time to save up folks.

In Summary

1. If theater, ABBA and feel good shows are your cup of tea, Mamma Mia is for you. This show is best shared with family and friends. I watched it with the significant other and we immensely enjoyed it. One of the best shows to take your date this V-day.

2. As for the best seat in the house, buy the best seat you can afford. We are only willing to shell out for the Parterre Box (~ PhP 3500), it was elevated and at the back of the hall but you still get a good view (a bit far though) and there's privacy. There were only six of us in the box and we got the two front seats so all is good.

3. It is also best to head out an hour and a half before the show to give you time to park and have dinner  in the CCP complex.

January 24 - February 19
Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo
Cultural Center of the Philippines

Ticket prices are as follows and can be bought at the link above.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 
PhP 7000, 6000, 5000, 3500, 2000, 1000

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday
PhP 6000, 5000, 4000, 3000, 1500, 750

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