We saw “Mamma Mia!” twice, in 2001 and 2004. It show, it has legs, even though it received a few slings and arrows in the press. Well, it’s back once again. It will not die. “Mamma Mia!” is the kind of play that is a punching bag for certain types, both rock types and theater types. But it wasn’t for us – a punching bag that is. Well, OK, maybe we took a few soft swats. So, now that it’s being revived once again in Boston at Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre Oct. 28- Nov. 2 we thought about what we liked then (and would expect to like now) vis-a-vis “Mamma Mia!” and came up with these eight reasons.
1) The Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten professed his love of ABBA (in photo) back in ’76 and playwright Catherine Johnson, a onetime Brit punk herself, tips her hat when the character called Headbanger Harry talks about selling a Rotten T-shirt. 2) Next to the parody/tribute band Bjorn Again, “Mamma Mia!” is the closest thing you’ll see to the real ABBA, which retired years ago and refused a $1 billion offer to reunite, partially Bjorn Ulvaeus told us, because the members aren’t exactly as fit and trim as they were in their heyday, and he wanted fans to remember them in their prime. We call this integrity. 3) We’ve always loved kitsch and camp, and this “Mamma Mia!” has it in spades; the surprise is when we find truly resonant moments underneath the layer cake. 4) Yes, the songs are shoehorned into the plot and vice versa, but so what? Was anyone expecting Moliere? Mamet? Rabe? 5) There is, agruably, not a more towering majestic breakup song than “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” 6) Is there a better power ballad than “The Winner Takes It All?” 7) We like it that the men and women in their 20s and 40s are sexually active and everyone’s OK with that. 8) We’re a sucker for phonetically sung lyrics by people writing in English who didn’t know the language but do so because English is the best-selling language of the pop world.
Tickets: $134-$44. See website for showtimes.
106 Boylston St., 617-482-9393 http://www.citicenter.org/mammamia/