'Mamma Mia: The Musical' concerns a young woman named Sophie and her single mother Donna, a former nightclub singer who runs a motel on a small Greek island. Sophie is about to get married and before she ties the knot she wants to find out who her father is. She invites 3 of her mother's old flames (each a candidate for paternity) to her wedding. From there the fun begins. 'Mamma Mia' is an infectious evening of pure entertainment and riotous raucous fun.
Put together by Abba
's own Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, Mamma Mia!
manages to cram over 20 of the Swedish supergroup's songs into a threadbare plot. It goes a little like this: Young Sophie is getting married and she's trying to identify which of three men is her father. That's about it. Wisely, the musical doesn't mess around with the songs, save for the insertion of some dialogue or for having some of them performed by a man (it works amazingly well). Abba fans will jump on this import of the London production, but traditional fans of musical theater should consider it as well. After all, Andersson and Ulvaeus's songs have always felt as if they were more than isolated pop gems and actually belonged to a longer narrative. --Elisabeth Vincentelli