By David Goldberg
It was the ’70s. and ABBA, the chart-topping disco foursome, was performing sold-out concerts throughout the world. Each show promised big hair, tight Lycra jumpsuits, and songs you would never forget. The cheesy flamboyance of it all was just too fabulous to resist. If you ever attended an ABBA concert, it was probably when you first realized you were gay.
And how does today’s youth connect with their inner sequined selves through ABBA? When we are not stealing our mothers’ copy of ABBA Gold, we have Mamma Mia!, the upcoming movie based on the stage musical of the same name. The stage show, which opened in London in 1999 featuring more than 20 ABBA songs, has moved on to play in 170 cities worldwide and earn more than two billion dollars. That’s a lot of vegemite.
The story takes place on a perfect Greek Island, where Sophie (played by Mean Girls ‘ adorable Amanda Seyfried) is about to tie the knot with her fiancé (the yummy Dominic Cooper). Before she can go through with the ceremony, she must find out which of three men (Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgärd, Colin Firth) that her mother (Meryl Streep—huzzah!) was involved with is her father. With a lot of glitter and spontaneous dancing, she may get her wish.
The past few years have seen musicals like Hairspray , Dreamgirls , and Chicago transform from Broadway hits to big-screen blockbusters. Mamma Mia! (opens July 18) looks to be appreciated by millions of new fans worldwide, and has what it takes to be the gayest movie of the year. The divine Sex and the City movie may have to let go of that crown.
With such a healthy cast and a soundtrack that is produced by ABBA’s two founding men, Mamma Mia! is a sequin sensation that should not be missed. Plus, if you close your eyes when you hear Meryl Streep’s deep voice, you can pretend she’s Cher. What could be better? Or gayer?
Photo caption: Meryl Streep (center) — flanked by Christine Baranski and Julie Walters — performs as Donna and the Dynamos in the movie version of Mamma Mia! (l–r) Stellan Skarsgärd, Pierce Brosnan, and Colin Firth also star in the ABBA musical as the three possible fathers of Donna’s daughter Sophie, who has invited all three to her wedding.