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Oh come on, be a Dancing Queen

Mamma Mia! plays at the Saenger Theatre through January 18.

Mamma Mia! plays at the Saenger Theatre through January 18.

I don’t know about you, but the beginning of 2015 has not brought any sunny news into my life. It’s been way too cold on too many days to my liking; world events are devastatingly depressing; local “challenges” (isn’t that how politicians describe life in the swamp’s largest city?) are overwhelming. And I can’t find one major avenue to drive down without swearing like a sailor!

In addition to the rant about the condition of today’s world, you can also include not wanting to subject myself to movies about the graphic torture of prisoners, or horror flicks that make you cover your eyes, or yet another not-so-grand re-interpretation of a biblical story.

What’s a person to do? I found one quick, semi-mindless answer to blocking out the mind-numbing world we occupy. It’s only available for a few days and, if you are of an age (as we say) like I am, you will relish a short trip back to the days of one-piece jumpsuits on paunchy men and the music of a particular Swedish pop group.

I’m talking about Mamma Mia! currently on the Saenger stage, complete with the music of Abba. It’s hard to believe it debuted in 1999 and has been going ever since. But, hey, can 54 million attendees be wrong?

British playwright Catherine Johnson’s tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter decides to discover the identity of her father — by bringing three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.

I’m not a great aficionado of bus and truck traveling theater companies. But, in this case, a professional cast, all of whom who can really sing and dance, makes this two-hour high-energy gig a welcome escape from the outside world.

If you do decide to partake, do stay to the very end. For, if nothing else moves you, you will be the recipient of an extended encore (in full period costume) of all the Abba songs you know by heart. I bet you’ll sing along, too.


Who:    Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus’ music and Work Light Productions cast

What:   Mamma Mia!

Where: Saenger Theater, New Orleans

When:  January 13-18

View a complete list of showtimes here. Tickets (starting at $35) available for purchase here.


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