Flashback, Palanggas! When we were invited to jet off to London on one of the fastest airlines to get you to Europe, KLM’s Royal Dutch Airlines (where we were pampered like royalty with meals provided by Michelin star-rated chef Jonnie Bore of De Librije, no less), we got to watch “Stomp!”, which was an awesome success at the CCP recently.
The trip also allowed us to scream, dance and sing our hearts out while watching one of the world’s most successful musical shows, “Mamma Mia!” This was in Manchester—all thanks to our host, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and its CEO, James Cundall, who has super-hit musical shows around the globe.
Yes, dahlings, all signs are pointing to an extraordinary musical experience we’ll be having in Manila with “Mamma Mia!,” brought to us by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and the awesome lady behind Concertus Inc., Bambi Verzo, along with David Atkins Enterprises and Hi-Definition Radio Inc. of Francis Lumen; Citibank and Smart Infinity.
Upon arrival in Manchester, we were met by Rachael Abbot of Lunchbox Theatrical, who brought us directly to our hotel, the Art Deco-designed Palace Hotel. After relaxing to an excellent lunch at the hotel, we were off to the Palace Theater to interview the talented cast of “Mamma Mia!”
This highly enjoyable musical has been named “the world’s No. 1 musical global smash hit,” dahlings. Based on the songs of Abba, it first opened at London’s West End, then in Melbourne in Australia, followed by Broadway in New York and now at Manchester, which has had a month’s run by the time we arrived—and still the queue for tickets was a block long!
Once the curtain went up, the energy in the theater was just incredible. The audience became part of each segment of the show, with everyone singing along to the songs. It was a hilariously funny show, colorful and just so entertaining, such that the audience couldn’t stop themselves from standing up from their seats and clapping endlessly to the mega-hits by the ’70s Swedish group Abba. Today’s generation still knows and dances to their songs, so the younger ones will also enjoy this musical.
“Mamma Mia!” has been thrilling audiences around the world since its debut in 2004. It has been seen by over 4 million people in countries as diverse as China, Lithuania, Greece, Taiwan, Hungary, New Zealand and, more recently, Serbia and Austria.
The storytelling magic of Abba’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. Abba’s original music composers, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, helped in the development of “Mamma Mia!” from the very beginning, using the band’s unforgettable chart-topping hits like “Dancing Queen,” “Take A Chance On Me” and “The Winner Takes It All.” The musical has been translated into 14 languages.
The Broadway production of “Mamma Mia!” celebrated its 10th anniversary last October. “Mamma Mia!” is written by Catherine Johnson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. The production is designed by Mark Thompson, with additional material and arrangements by Martin Koch. The international tour is produced by Judy Craymer, Richard East and Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar, in association with Universal, Stage Entertainment and NGM.
The night we watched the show, moi felt the same thrill, excitement and goose bumps I had felt the very first time I saw it years ago.
Next day, we were back in London and saw a couple of other musical shows such as “Dirty Dancing” and “We Will Rock You,” which had music by Queen this time.
The group was then off to do its last-minute shopping, while moi played tour guide to PDI Entertainment’s Pocholo Concepcion, since it was his first trip to London. I brought him to Piccadilly Circle, Trafalgar Square, Oxford and Regent Streets, among other must-see places. Hours earlier, Tim Yap, Tatler’s Vicky de Leon and I had gone to Victoria & Albert Museum to view the exhibit of the multitalented Yohji Yamamoto. The exhibit featured clothes and designs from his earliest designing days to the present, plus a couple of futuristic pieces.
Then it was back to reality as we flew home via KLM’s awesome service and smooth flight. Can’t wait to see “Mamma Mia!” again starting Jan. 24, 2012, at CCP, palanggas.
For tickets, visit www.mamma-mia.com or call 4038678; Joanarc Villaflor at 0917-8031216, [email protected]; and Bambi Verzo at 0917-5370539, [email protected] Tickets are from P750 to P7,000. Senior citizens enjoy a 20-percent discount.
All tickets available at all TicketWorld outlets, selected National Book Store branches, all Robinsons Department Store and Ayala Center (Greenbelt 1; Glorietta 4 and TriNoma Mall cinema booths) and TicketWorld Office at 6793 Ayala Ave., Suite 701 V. Madrigal Bldg., Makati. To book, call 8919999, or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph