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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Play: 'Mamma Mia' at National Theatre

For sheer entertainment, really, what could be better? Singing, dancing, fun, frolics, and costuming. Who cares about a plot? It’s the songs of Abba and dancing we came to hear and see, mind you. Disappointments? What? Not here!

One test I administer to good productions: Would I see it again. Yes and yes! I saw it in D.C. when it was last here two (three?) years ago. Yes, I would have gone back the next night if money were no object. What more can I say? We got the “cheap” ($42.50) seats but were able to move up to the $71 seats at intermission. What price entertainment?

The movie is coming next week, and it is difficult to imagine Meryl Streep as Donna, but who cares? I can’t wait to see it! On Sunday the New York Times made the movie sound even better than I could have ever envisioned. Still, live and on stage…where it's been for years in New York, London, and in Las Vegas, the Times said.

It is hard to leave the theatre without dancing your way down (up) the aisles. Three days later and “Dancing Queen” continues to play joyfully in my mind.

My friend said the audiences in New York and Chicago sing along with the music and dance in the aisles. Alas! And sniff,…this is Washington, D.C., if you please, where self excitement is contained...usually.

And, besides, we moved…a little, especially at the end… when it occurred to me that we all, every last woman in that hall, were living in yesteryear, for one brief evening when we were 17, and I was a Dancing Queen:

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music,
getting in the swing
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music’s high
With a bit of rock music,
everything is fine

You’re in the mood for a dance
And when you get the

You are the dancing queen,
young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing queen, feel the beat from the
You can dance, you can jive,
having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene,
dig in the dancing queen

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