by Ariellah Rosenberg, mom to three daughters (8, 13, 17), working at ORT SA  heading the Educators Empowerment division, can be found  on Twitter @Ariellah and her blog . Lifelong learner , Google Certified Teacher.

“Thank you for the music … for giving it to me”-  Thank you to the wonderful SA cast for giving us a local production to be proud of – Mamma Mia, a smash hit musical written by British Playwright Catherine Johnson, based on ABBA’s songs, and making  Ssouth Africa’s proud of their local talent.

If you are still sceptical about Mamma Mia and local productions standards – think no more when booking for Mamma Mia in Cape Town or Johannesburg.  The local cast all have  impressive South African theatrical backgrounds ,, and some of the lead roles include Gemma Donnelly, Christel Mutombo, Stephen Jubber (as Sky)- delightful when shirtless, Carmen Pretorius (as Sophie), Ilse Klink, Kate Normington, Murray Todd (as Bill), Neels Clasen (as Harry), Anrich Herbst (as Sam) and Gina Shmukler (as Donna).

Mamma Mia is known as one of the most sensational musicals of all times, with songs composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.  Love it or leave it, the show has  so far been performed in 13 languages, and according to the web, over 40 million people have now seen the show, which has grossed $2 billion dollars worldwide.

When I went to the show at Monte Casino, I had no expectations whatsoever about the show itself.   After all, I thought, how can you compete with such huge productions worldwide and especially with the Mamma Mia movie,  led by Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, and gorgeous Pierce Brosnan.  Wow was I wrong!  Gina Shmukler, playing the role of Donna was OUTSTANDING and accompanied by an amazing performance by the rest of the cast, it was just irresistible and hard to keep to our seats without jigging to songs like “Dancing Queen”, “Take a chance on me”, “The winner takes it all” and about 20 other of ABBA’s songs.

The story is about Sophie who is in her 20’s , on her wedding eve, wanting her father to walk her down the aisle (or as my 8 year old daughter said “walk her in the runaway”).  She invites three possible fathers to the paradise Greek Island and starts her quest for her father’s identity. The show is embedded with humou satire and wisdom  .. look forward to the South African witty pearls implanted in this local production.

Whether you’re an ABBA fan or not, do yourself a favour, spoil yourself and your family and go enjoy this fABBAlous Show!

Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me!

Mama Mia is on at Montecasino in Fourways until Dec 12.  Click here for more information.

Leave a Reply