Las Vegas Sun

November 23, 2017

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Review: The audience is the winner at ‘Mamma Mia!’ at Smith Center


Kirvin Doak Communications

Mamma Mia” is part of the Broadway Season 2 lineup at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Las Vegas.

In the Entertainment Capital of the World unfazed by $50-million-plus budgets for stage shows, it’s refreshing to be truly entertained by one that has bare-bones scenery, some chairs and a couple of tables.

The national touring company of “Mamma Mia!” opened its eight-performance run Tuesday night in Reynolds Hall at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and the spandex costumes and platform boots shined as bright as ever, as did young Chelsea Williams as Sophie and Georgia Kate Hage as her single mom, Donna Sheridan.

The first-night audience didn’t dance in the aisles but did sing along to ABBA’s hits and gave the cast a long and loud standing ovation at the finale with “Dancing Queen.”

It’s as authentic as the day the show departed its five-year Mandalay Bay run complete with Donna’s Dynamos and the dancing SCUBA divers . The colorful costumes worn by the enthusiastic and exuberant cast, who clearly enjoy this nearly yearlong North American tour, are identical to the ones shipped off to launch the Brazil version from the Las Vegas show when it closed here in January 2009.

The Swedish pop group’s jukebox musical was as good Tuesday night as its continuing Broadway production with fabulous choreography, great singing and strong acting.

“Take a Chance” and enjoy it until Sunday night and leave feeling good and happy before it heads off to California. “The Name of the Game” here is that “The Winner Takes It All.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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