888 4 GAY NEWS or 888-442-9639

THEATER REVIEW: “Mamma Mia!” will have you dancing to ABBA

A Greek island, American craziness and Swedish pop music combine in the goofball wedding story “Mamma Mia!” that plays through Sunday at San Diego Civic Theatre under the auspices of Broadway San Diego.

Sophie Sheridan (Chloe Tucker), 20-year-old daughter of Donna (Kaye Tuckerman), is set to marry boyfriend Sky (Happy Mahaney) in a few months on the little Greek island where mom runs a taverna.

Single mom Donna, a grown-up flower child with a colorful past, has always been secretive about the identity of Sophie’s dad. But Sophie, wanting to walk down the aisle on her dad’s arm, has snooped into Donna’s diary and found the names of three possibilities. She’s invited all of them to the wedding, figuring she’ll know the right one instantly on sight. (Mom has not been informed.)

That’s the setup. The complications are predictable and amusing, but not half as much fun as seeing Donna and gal pals Rosie (May Callanan) and Tanya (Alison Ewing), Donna’s former bandmates, resplendent in their blinding ’70s shiny spandex outfits and belting out “Super Trouper.”

There’s energy galore here, and enough jumping around to exhaust an old lady like me. The sets are serviceable, though they don’t remind me much of Greece (but then, I spent a couple of years there).

Tucker’s Sophie is winning (though she could use better diction) and Tuckerman’s Donna a powerhouse who can sing to the back of the balcony without much trouble.

Ewing is a hoot as the long, tall drink with store-bought attributes; Callanan amusing, especially in her duet with Bill (John-Michael Zuerlein), one of the possible fathers.

The other possible dads (Paul DeBoy and John Bisom) are convincing and fine singers as well.

What is there to say? “Mamma Mia!” is an international phenom seen by 45 million people to date, with a reputation for leaving audiences (including New York City Mayor Bloomberg and Colin Powell) dancing in the aisles.

It will probably do the same for you.

The details

“Mamma Mia!” plays through Sunday, June 5, at San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave.

Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m.; Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m.

For tickets call (619) 570-1100) or Ticketmaster (800) 982-2787.

To read more reviews by SDGLN Theater Critic Jean Lowerison, click HERE.