Some Broadway musicals -- Phantom of the Opera or Les Misérables or Wicked, for example -- are so popular that they can return again and again to the same market, powered by an enduring appeal that can apparently sell an endless number of tickets. Mamma Mia!, which opens at 8 tonight at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, is in a class of its own as a Bedazzled box office behemoth. But not so much for me.
Now, I love ABBA songs as much as the next person. I remember when the Swedish pop group, newly inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, first recorded them. I loved them in Muriel's Wedding. Heck, I even love them in Mamma Mia!. I defy anyone to sit absolutely still in a theater seat when the cast sings Dancing Queen. But that plot. Spare me. Watching a trio of middle-aged "girls" cavort around an idyllic Greek island (is there any other kind, even with Greece's financial crisis?) as an about-to-be-wed daughter tries to figure out which of three strange guys was her daddy struck me as silly-absurd-stupid the first time I saw Mamma Mia!. And I've seen the show at least four times. Five if you count the movie musical version.
The fact that the film has grossed more than $600 million and is the most successful movie musical of all time proves I'm in a tiny minority when it comes to resisting Mamma Mia!. So if watching actors in an escapist romantic musical sing and dance to ABBA tunes is your thing, here's what you need to know about seeing Mamma Mia! at the Arsht: It runs through Suunday, with performances at 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Tickets run $25 to $75. It's playing in the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. For tickets or more info, call 305-949-6722 or visit the web site.