“Mamma Mia!”, the musical based on ABBA music, dances on Bass Concert Hall’s stage this week. It’s part of the Broadway Across America tour.
A young girl, who grew up on a Greek island, is about to get married. She invites three men from her mother’s past who could be her father. Her mother’s gal pals from the past also invade for the weekend. It’s a high energy comedy with many laughs and music that has the audience tapping their feet and sometimes singing along.
It is delightful, bringing together an audience of mostly women of all ages and occasional dates.
But at Tuesday night’s performance, the solo vocals were mostly strong, but drown out by the way-too-loud backing band and the way-way-way too loud Greek choir. At one point, audience members had their hands covering their ears as the band came in way too loud to start the second act.
There were also problems with diction. If you knew the music, you could understand the lyrics. If you didn’t grow up with ABBA or weren’t too familiar with the songs, some of the lyrics were muddled. At several points, my daughter turned to me and whispered “I have no idea what they are saying?” or “What did she just say?”
It’s a shame, too. You want to enjoy all the innuendo that makes ABBA music fun.
Bass has had sound problems in the past and even underwent a renovation to improve the sound among other things. Perhaps, after last night’s struggles, producers will rethink the sound mix for this stage to make it more understandable and more enjoyable.
The cast, though, makes this a fun show. The groom’s guy pals were especially phenomenal dancers and the mother’s two side kicks delivered laughs in both witty remarks and physical comedy.
“Mamma Mia!” continues at Bass Concert Hall. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $30-$100. 2300 Robert Dedman Drive. texasperformingarts.org.