“Honey, Honey” Mama Mia! Has begun performances at the Alhambra Theatre and Dining. The show composed of all ABBA music, follows Sophie Sheridan as she searches for her biological father. After stumbling upon her mother’s diary, she discovers there are three possible men. Sophie comes up with the idea to invite all three to her wedding and there she will discover which one is her father. I, personally, was entranced by the music and could not believe how a story can revolve around the music rather than the music revolve around the story. The audience was thrilled to hear these classic songs come to life on stage!
Grace Gibbons, returning after her starring role in The Little Mermaid last month, was the perfect choice for Sophie Sheridan. Gibbons voice is so pure and had an innocent quality about it. This innocence was really prominent in “I Have A Dream” and “Thank You for the Music”, in which she sings with her three potential fathers with so much hope and adoration.
Donna Sheridan, performed by Kelly Atkins, had great chemistry with all of the characters. Though, she does not agree with her daughter marrying at 20, she is putting all of her effort and time into making sure her hotel looks perfect for the wedding. Atkins does a great job at portraying a stressed-out mother of the bride. You could say she is less than pleased when three men from her past come walking up the steps as she is preparing. Her friends, Tanya and Rosie, are there to comfort her. The chemistry the three have really embody how powerful female friendship can be and is prominent in the number “Chiquitita.” Atkins chemistry with Gibbons is also extremely sweet and beautiful, as she watched her daughter prepare for her wedding in “Slipping Through My Fingers.”
The girlfriends, Tanya and Rosie, provided so much comic relief throughout the entire show. I am always so excited to see Lisa Valdini’s (Rosie) name in the playbill, and this show proved once again how amazing she is! Valdini left me close to tears with her comedic genius, displayed most in “Take a Chance on Me.” Karen Coughlin (Tanya) was also very funny and perfectly embodied the character. Couglin’s stand out number was “Does Your Mother Know”, and she was absolutely fabulous!
The three potential fathers were a real treat! Sam, performed by Jim Sorenson, had a great voice! Sorenson’s voice was put on display in “Knowing Me, Knowing You” and was outstanding. Bill, performed by Jim Ballard, played the Australian adventurer. He was a great character, but my favorite performance of his was his reactions to Valdini in “Take a Chance on Me.” The last potential father, Harry (Billy Clark Taylor), was so sweet and lovable! His character was best displayed in “Our Last Summer” as he reminisces with Atkins’ character about their love affair.
The ensemble was also outstanding and really pulled the whole show together. My favorite number was definitely “Voulez-Vous” when everyone is on stage dancing and partying, as well as the chaos happening between the main characters.
I was also impressed with the choreography in the show. They were able to utilize the limited space they were given and make it larger than life. The choreography went perfectly with the score, as well!
The show is absolutely phenomenal! The talent is beaming off the stage and is wonderfully entertaining. The audience was on their feet dancing along and having an absolute ball as the classic songs were performed. Mama Mia! will be at the Alhambra now through September 15!
Review originally published on broadwayworld.com.