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Robert Butler is excited about his assignment. Review the new Sing Along version of Mamma Mia!

Movie critic Robert Butler is excited about his assignment -- review the new sing along version of the movie "Mamma Mia!" My daughter and I hid out in the back, where we wouldn't make a spectacle of ourselves..

Robert Butler, The Kansas City Star’s movie critic, was a little dubious of the idea of a sing along version of “Mamma Mia!” when he showed up for the preview.  He’d already seen the “regular” version.  He’s warmed a lot of theater seats in his many years as a movie critic, so he has a right to be cynical. 

I mostly showed up because my daughter offered me a free ticket to go with her. When your kids start to pay for things, you go!   When I got there, I thought:  “What the heck, tiaras, boas?”  But it was fun!  And I clapped. I couldn’t help myself.

Here’s what Butler had to say about the evening. (Hint: he loved it.) Better click fast, because the Kansas City Star’s online files have a short “free” life. Mamma Mia! Here I go again. How can I resist you?  Here’s my blog post on Mamma Mia!  Yes, I just posted it a couple of days ago, but I’m making it easy for you.

Waiting in line for the sing along version of Mamma Mia!  None of these people are me. I was at the back of the line.

Waiting in line for the sing along version of Mamma Mia! None of these people are me. I was at the back of the line.

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Mamma Mia!

My daughter “Lulu”and I were probably the only ones in the theater tonight who’d never seen any version of “Mamma Mia!” She’d gotten free tickets to a preview of the new sing-along version.  “Wanna go?” she asked casually. Lulu was ready to pass the tickets along to a friend who’s “Mamma Mia!” crazy, if I said no. 

I said, “Sure.”  I had a little headache, but I don’t get a chance to hang out with her that much. She’s busy, and she has a boyfriend.  Of course, on the way there, I put a crimp in the conversation when I found out she’d skipped a class. 

“Why?” I asked in that certain tone only a mother seems to be able to create.  She’s out of college, so it’s a class just for enhancement, but the old “never skip anything” in me came out.  This led to a discussion about life, and my headache started to get worse. My own fault. 

We thought we were getting to the theater early, but there was a long line of people waiting. We weren’t guaranteed a seat.  But it was fun just standing in line with people bedecked in tiaras and feather boas, distributed at the theater.  Soon a tiara was perched on my head, too.  Luckily, there were seats for us.  The movie was so much fun that I forgot all about my headache. 

The lyrics on the screen were very helpful, since — unlike most people in the theater — I didn’t know the words.  I didn’t sing out loud, and people who know my voice know why!  There were plenty of great singers in the audience, including members of the Heartland Men’s Chorus, so they didn’t need to hear my froggy voice.  Lulu said it seemed that the songs were written for the movie, not the other way around.  ABBA disbanded before she was born, so it was all fresh to her.  After the movie, my daughter and I both admitted we teared up a couple of times, including a scene between mother and daughter.  “Particularly after what we talked about in the car,” she said.  I’m available any time for another date!

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