Monday, October 25, 2010
Oh Mamma Mia
So we went to Anchorage over the weekend. Flew out on Thursday night. Our main objective was to see Mamma Mia which was playing on stage for two weeks only. This morning I awoke with the catchy tunes playing in my head. Which was unfortunate. Not that I did not enjoy it - I did not exactly. I enjoyed watching my wife who enjoyed it. And the hundreds of other women who were there. Women in their 40s, 50s and 60s who screamed and sang and danced in their seats like they were at a rock concert. They came in groups of 5, 6, 7 and more. It was a girls thing. Men made about 20% of the audience and like myself were largely clueless. I had seen the movie when it came out on DVD. The 70s music by Abba is bound to get your feet moving but the lyrics will not get your mind moving very far. At least I didn't remember much about them. When I saw the play in person though I got some of the lyrics. The story is simple. Donna's daughter is getting married and she wants her father to give her away. Problem is she has never met her father, her mother has never mentioned him and she may not even know who it was. It could have been one of three men she knew at the time. So daughter invites those three after finding a journal her mother kept at the time which mentions those three men. All three show up unbeknownst to Donna. She is livid. Why are they coming around now. She raised her daughter by herself, she built a business and a life by herself. She does not need any one of the former possible fathers help now. When she stated that fact in the face of one of the possible fathers the audience of women erupted in cheers and applause. I looked for the nearest exit. Was I to be an object of this low grade rage toward men that Mamma Mia had brought to the surface. I looked to my wife. She did not seem to be sharing the rage. I felt safer; she would protect me in case I was made to stand in for all the men who had failed all these women in various ways. The show went on. There was some reflecting on how much better life seemed in the 70s when life was more laid back, love was free and drugs were handy. Before life got complicated and responsibilities intruded especially when you had to raise and support a child by yourself. Donna's daughter did not want to do it like her mother had. It was no fun not having a father so she was going to get married and do it right. Her boyfriend wanted to travel with her - and do the 70s thing for awhile- he was going along with the marriage for her sake. In a twist at the end, daughter and fiance decide they don't need to get married and Donna does. She marries one of the possible fathers. Who is divorced and has two kids who live with his ex. One of the other possible fathers discovered he was gay. And the third is a free spirit who has never settled down and is not ready too. Although he is pursued by one of Donna's friends (Take a Chance). So men don't come off too well in this story. Neither does marriage, faithfulness, or stability. Except in the way Donna has raised and supported her child. There was not much need for a man in this script. I was feeling a little vulnerable on the way back to our hotel. I tried not to look many women in the eyes on the way out. When I did I thought I saw looks of scorn and contempt. You Male, you're nothing but 0ne of Them! What good are you! When I tentatively expressed my thoughts on the play to my wife, she laughed. It was fun, she said. And you know I value you. Whew!