Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Life after Mamma Mia!

I had a wonderful time in New York City last summer, and a highlight was my musical theatre marathon. I saw seven shows in five days, starting things off on a very lively, enjoyable note with a Saturday matinee of Mamma Mia!

Ok, it's not the most profound piece of musical theatre, and I can't imagine how parents explain the plot to their young children: "Mommy, why doesn't she know which man is her daddy?" But it's a lot of fun, it has great pop tunes, and I'm glad I went. (Besides, as I work toward my goal of seeing a show inside every Broadway theatre, I can cross the Winter Garden off my list.)

An actress named Carey Anderson played Sophie, the young woman who invites three of her mother's former lovers to her wedding on a Greek island, hoping to find out which one is her father. Anderson gave a really sweet and spirited performance, and I swear I was tearing up a little by the end. (Although the blond-haired Anderson looks nothing like the raven-haired woman in a wedding dress pictured on the gigantic marquee.)

Anderson left the cast of Mamma Mia! on June 1, and I've been wondering what she'd do next. She was replaced by Carrie Manolakos, who is making her Broadway debut after playing Sophie on the musical's national tour. Well, I was happy to read this morning that Anderson will be back on Broadway next week. She's joining the cast of Avenue Q starting July 8, playing the roles of Kate Monster and Lucy.

I have to admit, I haven't had a great desire to see Avenue Q, but hey, it's a long-running show, it's on Broadway, and it'll pay the bills. Plus, I think it would be interesting to see Anderson tackle another part. Now that I'm going to the theatre regularly, it's fun to compare and contrast my favorite performers as they take on new roles. And I'm hoping someday, she'll get to create a role of her own.

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