I love Mamma Mia!. I really do. I know it’s ABBA, and it’s cheesy, and it’s not exactly the most intensely emotional or weighty of musicals (yes, musicals have depth and messages; they’re not all just fluffy bits of song and dance), but I don’t care. I’ve seen it . . . ooh, probably four times? I pretty much try to see it whenever the touring cast stops in Minneapolis. It’s just so much fun!
It’s not typically the first musical I think of when someone asks my favorite (Wicked, RENT, Hair, and Avenue Q come to mind first), but it has a special place in my heart nevertheless. It’s so much fun to sing along with, and it used to be a bonding event of sorts with my mom because we both loved it. Now that I think about it, it may be the only Broadway musical I’ve seen more than once either on Broadway or performed by the national touring cast (other than Spamalot, once in Philly, once in Minneapolis — it was the same tour).
And despite the fact that no one dies in Mamma Mia!, the musical has significance as well. It ends with a few nice messages — blood isn’t everything, family is more than genetics, and it’s better to me true to oneself than to simply follow societal expectations.
Also, “Thank You For the Music” tugs at my heartstrings. I adore music. I love to sing. And so the song has always spoken to me.
Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty?
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance, what are we?
So I say thank you for the music, for giving it to me.