Last night I went to see Mamma Mia!, the musical featuring the songs of ABBA.
What a strange production.
I am by no means immune to the charms of the Swedish supergroup, but it's very very strange to hear "Gimme Gimme Gimme" and the like played by an orchestra in a bombastic, symphonic overture. It's also very strange to see the ABBA catalog attempt to be woven into a very silly story about...oh, does it really matter? When are they gonna get to "Waterloo"?
The funniest part was after the cast took their bows and proceeded to turn out a mini ABBA revue, in addition to the barrage of ABBA we had just heard during the "story." It was as though they just couldn't let the audience go without administering one more swift kick in the pants of Scandinavian glitterball pop. And the audience seemed grateful for it, as everyone in the packed theatre -- nicely-dressed grannies and young urban sophisticates alike -- got up and started dancing and singing, like some weird spiritual revival on Ecstacy.
I confess that I enjoyed the whole experience, even if "Dancing Queen" has been in my head on a constant loop and shows no signs of leaving anytime soon.