MAMMA MIA, the musical built around the music of Abba is delighting fans at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. This is not the first time the musical has played in Las Vegas, but this is the new improved model. The production runs 2½ hours with a 15 minute intermission.
The premise is unique. Sophie is about to marry and wants her father to walk her down the aisle. But she has been raised by her mother Donna and never knew anything about the man who fathered her. The discovery of her mother's diary leads to the further discovery that her mother's magical summer on the tiny Greek isle where Sophie grew up included three possible fathers.
Sophie sends off invitations to the possible dads and all three arrive on the same day not knowing that it was Sophie, not Donna who who mailed out the invites. Needless to say, confusion, fun, and a lot of singing and dancing follow their arrival. Adding additional plot line twists, Donna's old friends and the other two thirds of their youthful singing group Donna & the Dynamos arrive to reunite with their old pal from their carefree days.
Will Sophie discover which man fathered her? Will Donna rekindle old passions with him or one of the others? Will Donna's friends find new excitement on the island? There are serious moments in the story. Sophie questions her own decision to marry so young. Donna discovers the expanded guest list and its implications, and the mother daughter relationship goes through some strained moments in light of the secrets and complications.
But ultimately, we know it will work out for the best (although I won't reveal the ending), and the real star of the show is the music. Songs include “I Have a Dream,” “Money, Money, Money,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Dancing Queen” and of course, “Mamma Mia”.
The delightful choreography includes an innovative number featuring the members of the bachelor party dancing in snorkel masks and flippers. The costumes are bright and appealing. The sets are vintage but in a futuristic sort of way. The cast members sing and dance their way through the show with exuberence. Add to all that - live music!
There are multiple comic moments as the characters meet, mix, and mingle. If you want Rogers and Hammerstein, go elsewhere. If you enjoy Abba, this one's for you. No doubt you'll be on your feet dancing and singing along as the show reaches its happy ending. One warning- music can be loud. Bring earplugs to soften the sound.
Mamma Mia delights audiences in the upgraded Tropicana Hotel & Casino Showroom. Show times are Sunday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Saturday 5:30 & 9 p.m. Prices range from $49 to $135 plus taxes and fees. Visit www.troplv.com for add'l information. ( Acceptable for children 4 and over.)