Mamma Mia! at the Aloha Theatre

mamma mia at the aloha theatre

OMG this was a fantastic performance of Mamma Mia! at the Aloha Theatre on Sunday. Blown away. The woman who introduced the musical from the stage said it was the most highly grossing musical ever in the history of the Aloha Theatre, which is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit established in 2004. I thought I enjoyed the Addams Family Musical, but it doesn’t hold a candle to this production.

The guy who played Uncle Fester in the Addams Family, Miguel Montez, had the role of Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia! at the Aloha Theatre. What a beautiful voice. So many great performances. From Amanda Trusty (Donna) who belted the number The Winner Takes It All to such extremes audience members high-fived each other, to the adorable Pepper character (and an audience favorite), Christian Aragon, a sophomore at Konawaena High School, the performances were incredible, outstanding.

Mamma Mia! at the Aloha Theatre was a Sunday matinee, so there was not the kind of tipsy enthusiasm that is often displayed at late evening shows. Plus, most of the audience was comprised of older men and women. Yes, a lot of men, surprisingly.

You know, I’d like to take a moment to address the fact there is a kind of cynicism I see prevalent in some types of people who make fun of Abba music. As though there is something wrong with music that makes you feel good and elicits joy. I’m not sure I understand that kind of attitude. Why would people want to avoid embracing sheer happiness? And that’s what Mamma Mia! elicits, it makes you happy.

The music won’t win awards, and the lyrics are simple, but it makes you want to groove. There is nothing wrong with expressing joy. All I have to say to those people who think Abba is silly, is embrace the silliness. Just do it. Let go. Be happy. Be goofy. Lighten up. Have fun.

What an experience to witness such talent in the Kona area. A friend in the production, Erin Deskin is in the ensemble. She is a second grade school teacher and is 23. Just bought her own condo down by Captain Cook, so my friends and I stopped by after the performance to check out her new place. So many interesting people live in the Kailua-Kona area.

Erin told us that shortly into the production of Mamma Mia! at the Aloha Theatre, a lot of performers caught a bug. To counter act throat problems, some of the actors poured Tabasco sauce down their throats or they devoured jalapeño peppers like no tomorrow. We had also stopped by Donkey Balls in Kealakekua to try habanero and chocolate-coated mac nuts, but they had sold out.

I am a firm believer that if a food doesn’t pair well with jalapeños, it might not be worth consuming.

If I had anything to offer to improve the show, I would say the sound did not fill the theatre, and it could have been louder. But it’s an older vintage building, so probably not much could be done. And, no, I am not going deaf.

P.S. The photo above is of Mamma Mia in New York, not Kealakekua.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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