Mamma Mia!, the smash hit musical, opens Friday, May 5 at Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC). The musical, based on the songs of ABBA and followed by a hit film of the same name in 2008, is much-loved, making this event a super-exciting happening for fans of the franchise. We were lucky enough to sit down with Sarah Smith, who plays the dynamic role of Rosie in this super-hot show, and ask her a few questions about what makes this production something to get excited about, both for longtime fans of the musical and newbies to it as well.
Smith confirmed, right away, that, for her, and for most people who love the show so dearly, the music really is what is at the heart of it. She said, “At the end of the day, what keeps people coming back time and time again is the music of ABBA.” And, undoubtedly, there is truth in this statement, judging by the award-winning music that regularly has audiences up and dancing on their feet.
But it’s not just the music that makes this particular production special. According to Smith, this production is ”the farewell tour, and that alone makes this one very special. There is a lot of love poured out onto that stage every night, and people from all over are driving hours to see the show, all the while hoping it won’t actually be the last.”
Even for those not in the “elite fandom” of people who come to see the show night after night and who are mourning its farewell, Mama Mia! still has plenty of “specialness” to offer up. Speaking of the show, Smith says, “It’s about friendship, love, coming of age, and letting go and letting love. There is a lot of heart in this simple story, and that is why it is so relatable.”
If those aren’t universal themes that everyone can relate to, then nothing is. And it’s that very thing- the universality of it all- that makes Mama Mia! such a wonderful show- one that people should definitely get out and see before it leaves DPAC after its all too brief engagement.