Review: Mamma Mia! The Musical in Hong Kong

Showing: 24 SEPTEMBER – 2 NOVEMBER 2014

Where: Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wan Chai

How much? VIP $995 A $795 B $595 C $395 – way cheaper than London!!

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at last night’s GALA

Finally, we have some legit musical theatre in Hong Kong! I always wondered, while Singapore would get shows like LION KING, Hong Kong would get Sesame Street (true story).

Fortunately, it looks like things are changing. After Mamma Mia’s month-long run, The Phantom of the Opera will come to town as well in December. Fingers crossed we’ll see more international productions here, even if it’s a local cast.

this production's cast hails from the UK

this production’s cast hails from the UK

So last night on the invitation from Mamma Mia! Hong Kong’s PR agency, I headed to the GALA performance to see just how good this version is. I liked the movie well enough (although I kept thinking Pierce Brosnan was James Bond going undercover as a regular guy). Amanda Seyfried in the film version was oh-so-big eyed and charming that you forget she’s being a completely spoilt and selfish b** who just wants everything to go her way (I want my wedding to be perfect I want to know who my dad is I don’t care if it hurts my mom or shakes up the lives of these three random men). But then again story is a feel-good one in a Utopian world, so there’s no room for my cynicism here.

Back to last night’s performance. IT WAS FUN. That’s all I can say. I never thought I’d see it in Hong Kong (although most of the audience were expats) but the crowd stood up in the end (especially those in VIP/orchestra) and sang and danced with the performers. I hope the other show nights will be as enjoyable!

I also have to admit I shed a tear or two at the beginning but that’s because I was remembering my mom because she loved ABBA songs. I imagined I was watching the play with her. Yolanda, my colleague, was weeping beside me at some parts. Maybe I should have given her a Kleenex…

“Anyone familiar with the chart-topping Swedish 70s pop group Abba will relate to the show’s renditions of the songs” – TimeOut

I left the theatre feeling very happy and dancey, humming ABBA all the way home. So watch it: it’s fun, it’s good, and if it’s successful we’ll have more of it coming our way!

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