Mamma Mia! has finally returned to Singapore, and is staying for the next three weeks. The award-winning jukebox musical features classic ABBA hits as the backbone to an enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island paradise. From West End to Broadway to global phenomenon, Mamma Mia! is the ultimate feel-good show and has charmed audiences worldwide.

The Mamma Mia! International Tour features a stellar cast from the UK. They put on an astounding, energetic performance, sure to leave you tapping your feet, or in the case of the audience I was sitting in, up on their feet. Lively dance numbers, emotional performances and the fantastic chemistry between cast members shot the energy through the roof. It is almost impossible to leave the theatre without a smile plastered on your face. Heck, I’m beaming just thinking about it.

Photo courtesy of Phua Theng Hui

Photo courtesy of Phua Theng Hui

Special props should be given to Niamh Perry, who is playing Sophie for the second time (the first being in the West End production back in 2009). Just 24-years-old, she commands the stage with her strong vocals and charm. She brings a familiar zest to spirited Sophie, saying that she likes bringing her own feistiness and realness to character.

These traits can also be seen in her character’s mother, Donna, played by the stunning Sara Poyzer. The two complement each other very well, and their characters will most definitely make you shed a tear or two.

MAMMA MIA! International Tour 2014

Photo courtesy of BASE Entertainment Asia

Poyzer’s vocal control is on point and her runs are divine. To be honest, I’m pretty sure her voice was personally fine-tuned by the musical theatre gods. Her real-life husband, Richard Standing, plays her love interest, Sam Carmichael, and I suppose that’s what makes the musical so much better. Their earnest duet, S.O.S., seals their position as everyone’s favourite couple. They even shared a kiss after the encore! Come on, now, let’s here the ‘aww’s.

In retrospect, the stage is undoubtedly commanded by the Donna’s go-getting, innuendo-spewing, alcohol-chugging, lovable BFFs, Tanya and Rosie, played by Geraldine Fitzgerald and TV personality Sue Devany, respectively. Their stage presence is so strong, that all eyes are only on Donna and The Dynamos as they dance across stage, crack jokes and belt numbers. The Dynamos leave the audience spellbound with their renditions of Super Trouper, Dancing Queen and Chiquitita. I dare say they carried the show from start to end. Theirs is a performance not to be missed. Seriously, do yourself a favour and watch the show; allow yourself to be enveloped by their charisma.

Photo courtesy of BASE Entertainment Asia

Photo courtesy of BASE Entertainment Asia

Strangely enough, no matter how great the cast is, they weren’t what set Mamma Mia! apart from other musicals. Mamma Mia! is by far the most aesthetically beautiful one I have ever seen. The lighting and set design are done exquisitely, and take you from Singapore to Greece, leaving you completely reluctant to peel yourself off of the seat once the musical is over. Blues, greens and purples transport you to the Grecian island, and you are put under Mamma Mia!’s spell for good. You are as in love and as cheerful as the characters are with each other and the location. The set, although incredibly simple (my friend described the waves backdrop as “blue bacon”), gives the musical all the atmosphere it needs.

Truly, the showstopper is the technical side of the musical, and you know a stage production is going to be extraordinary when so much thought is put into that side of the production. Every single aspect was calculated and purposeful, and this is the one thing that I will be waxing lyrical about for a long time to come. Unbelievably fantastic.

Speaking of aesthetically beautiful, the male ensemble constantly appears topless in briefs or wetsuits. When I say they’re aesthetically beautiful, I mean it. They look like Cupid himself had chiselled them.

Mamma Mia! was the most fun I’ve ever had at a theatre, and I guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself. Say I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do to smash-hit Mamma Mia! because it will definitely leave you with a smile and ABBA songs stuck in your head for at least two weeks.

Prepare your Money, Money, Money:

Venue: MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands
Dates: 13 November – 14 December, 2014
Timing: Tuesday – Friday 8PM; Saturday 2PM and 8PM; Sunday 1PM and 6PM

Tickets available from $95 (not inclusive of booking fee) on Sistic