Showing posts with label Broadway musical reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Broadway musical reviews. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Mamma Mia Movie Review

I was a teenager in the '70s and of course, loved the music. In 1972 the Swedish group ABBA became popular. Their music topped the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1982. ABBA's music is so uplifting and is such feel-good music.

In 1999 a successful broadway musical hit the stage "Mamma Mia" the name of ABBA's 1975 top hit. The Broadway Musical became a hit that has since played in 40 countries and all 6 continents and has incorporated so many of ABBA's hit songs.

Mamma Mia came to theaters in Toronto in 2000. We live in Western New York so it was easy for us to get there in 2003. Watching this Broadway Musical live was just amazing. The music of ABBA was so fantastic and uplifting. Their music just gives me that all over good feeling.

Mamma Mia Movie Review



In 2008 the Broadway Musical was adapted into a movie. After seeing the Broadway Musical there was no way that I was going to miss this movie. 

Movie Plot:

The story is about Donna played by (Meryl Streep), and her daughter Sophie played by (Amanda Seyfried).

Donna and Sophie live on a small Greek Island. Donna owns a villa and tries to run it as a hotel, unsuccessfully. Sophie is about to be married and would love that her father is able to walk her down the aisle. The only problem is that Sophie has no idea who her father is.

Sophie sneaks a peek at Donna's old diary. She finds the names of three men that her mother was intimate with from her mother's younger days. Sophie is convinced that of these three men is her father. 

Sophie sends wedding invitations to all three men and signs her mother's name, in hopes that she will know her father once she gets to spend some time with him.

The three men arrive on the island, Sam Carmichael the architect played by (Pierce Brosnan), Harry Bright the British banker played by (Colin Firth), and Bill Anderson the Swedish sailor, traveler, and writer played by (Stellan Skarsgard).

Sophie explains to the three that she is the one who sent the invitations in hopes of finding out who her father is. I'll stop here just in case you haven't seen Mamma Mia. Trust me, this movie is full of laughs and the amazing music of ABBA.

Ten years later in 2018, a sequel was released. "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" Featuring most of the original cast and some surprise superstars. The sequel starts out in present-day but reflects back on Donna's life and how she ended up on the island and how she met her three lovers.

Both of these movies are worth the time. They are filled with laughter and ABBA's upbeat and feel-good music.

Just in case you don't remember, here is the original 1975 hit Mamma Mia by ABBA



I'm sure these two movies are streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime. If not you can buy the DVD's

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Review of the Musical & Play "Wicked"

http://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/2015/06/review-of-musical-play-wicked.html

A few years back, I had the pleasure to attend the Broadway musical production of Wicked.  As a child, I loved the movie The Wizard of Oz and I will admit, I had never given much thought to what happened before the infamous tornado when we were all hurled into the land of Oz.  I didn't realize that the book, The Wizard of Oz had a prequel until I saw the musical Wicked.

What caught me even more by surprise was that it was funny and extremely entertaining!

This is definitely a production that I could recommend to anyone of any age.  It would be the perfect opportunity to introduce a child to Broadway and to musicals.  Oh, lest I forget to tell you later,  you simply must wear green to the production.  And, fear not, the Wicked musical is definitely child friendly!


 

The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz 



Only a teaser, I will not give away the whole story

Like me, you may wonder what to expect, and like me, you may also be surprised by your reactions.  You will be amazed at how your heart will react to a young Elphaba, a child who has an unusual birth defect.  She was born green.

You will be humored when a very unpopular Elphaba becomes friends with the very popular Glinda when they are forced to be roommates at Shiz University.  You will follow their friendship as it struggles through their opposing personalities and viewpoints.

You will discover how Elphaba becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the West, how Glinda becomes the Good Witch of the North and the true identity of the Great Oz.



via Wikimedia

You will even be surprised by who the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow really are and how they were changed.  The best one word description for this musical is "spellbinding."

 


Highlights of Wicked 


The Music 


For this production, the music was perfect!  It was mostly light and entertaining.  Often very humorous.  Apparently very catchy because the little girl sitting behind us during the play, sang along.

The song "Popular" (video featured above) is one of the lighthearted songs and does an excellent job of reflecting and portraying the personalities of the two girls.  Glinda was Popular, but Elphaba defied expectations.  

The song "Defy Gravity" gives you insight into how the two friends reached a crossroads and must make the choices that will forever change their future.




Costumes


via Wikimedia Commons
The costumes and stage effects were outstanding.  Throughout the production, the outfits matched the characters personalities and the scenes.  Even the drab, darker costumes like Elphaba's black "witch" costume, were totally appropriate, and supplied the perfect compliment to her green skin.

All of the costumes were wonderful but my personal favorites were the costumes worn by Madame Morrible, the head mistress of Shiz University.  The brilliant colors and elaborate details of her gowns stood out among the navy, blacks and whites of some of the other costumes.







Madame Morrible Photo by Emily Darline on Pinterest

Conclusion


As I stated in the introduction, I was actually surprised by how much I really enjoyed this musical.  I didn't really expect to be so thoroughly entertained.

While I might not list this as my #1 musical, I would place it at 3rd, just behind Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera.

I would highly recommend this musical to families with children or anyone who is simply looking for a fun night at the theater.

Oh!  Do remember to wear green!


Wicked: The Soundtrack, The Book, and a Great Way to Wear Green to the Musical





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Friday, August 15, 2014

Romantic Broadway Musicals

I dearly love going to the theater to see a Broadway musicals even if I have seen the same musical a dozen times before.

When I was a teenager, I volunteered to usher at our local community theater just so I could see the plays for free.  I was always enchanted by the musicals.  

Night after night I would sit totally engrossed in the play and the music.  Occasionally, I would be so moved by the actors that I would forget that I actually had responsibilities during intermission and after the production ended.  I really just wanted to sit there, close my eyes and try to memorize the scenes, the lyrics, the lines, simply everything that I had seen.


Broadway Musical Favorites

The Phantom of the Opera (Original 1986 London Cast)
 As an adult, I am still captivated by the stage, and I am still especially fond of musicals.  I shall never forget the first time I saw Andrew Lloyd Webbers "Phantom of the Opera" or the incredibly fantastic version of "Les Miserables" featuring the music by Claude-Michel Schonberg. 

While those two Broadway musicals stand out in my mind as my personal all time favorites, I have seen many other remarkable musicals including Beauty & The Beast which I just happened to take in while visiting Chicago.  I had always considered it a child's play, but I found it incredibly enchanting and entertaining even as an adult.


 Hello, Dolly! (1994 Broadway Revival Cast)
 Many years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing some of what I consider to be the Broadway Musical classics.  I mentally danced along with Anna and the King of Siam in The King & I, I explored the mountainside and fell in love right along with Maria in The Sound of Music.  I played a serenading violin in my mind as I absorbed Fiddler on the Roof and I shall never, ever forget seeing Carol Channing up close and personal in Hello Dolly.  I was gifted front row seats for that musical and Miss Channing was beyond incredible!

I remember some of the musicals plays I attended in my youth better than others, but I very much look forward to seeing their revivals in upcoming productions.  I often seek out reviews of Broadway musicals prior to purchasing tickets to determine if I really wish to see a particular production.  That is especially important in difficult economic times when we need to be a bit more discerning about how we spend our money.  

Therefore, I would love to read your reviews of your favorite romantic Broadway musicals!  If you have previously published a review, please leave the link in the guestbook below.




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