Married 30+ years to the same sweet man & plan to hang on to him! Pray for your family daily!! If you don't... who will?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mama Mia!

What a blast- a great time. Wednesday LJ and I drove up to St Louis to the Fabulous Fox Theatre. It is a beautiful example of Roaring Twenties extravegance. LJ kept ooooing and ahhhhing at the fact that they just don't build 'em like that anymore!

Originally built in 1929 as a moviehouse by WF Fox, it is coined as an example of "Siamese Byzantine" style and now a premiere venue for Broadway tours and concerts. One of the original opening night reviews called it a Hindu Theatre. There is gold leaf and ornation in every corner, the eyes never stop their movement, trying to find the next visual delight. After the Great Wall Street Crash, Mr. Fox's movie picture empire never again held the staus that it once had and just shy of its half century mark, the Fabulous Fox closed its doors in 1978. Three years later the theatre was purchased, and $2 Million renovation was begun. The theatre's historical records and original photographs were used to restore this beauty to as close to the original masterpiece as possible.

Reopened in 1982, the results are spectacular.

Across the street from the front doors is now a sweet little park with a bright fountain and several dining establishments for the pre-theatre crowd. There has been a street musician both times we've been.

We first entered the Fabulous Fox several years ago to attend The Lion King. I had secretly bought tickets for LJ's birthday--a mystery birthday trip. LJ had the map and was the navigator but had no idea where we were going, just the address. What a double whammied delight: both the wonder of Disney's stage presentation of the hit movie, and the utter surprise & love at first sight at the unexpected magnificance of the Fox. What a treat! We had no idea of what met us in the lobby... and beyond.

Oh, Mamma Mia!!! This is an example of a"jukebox musical", the second musical of this genre we've attended this year, a storyline that ties together the songs, not the story of the group or artist. We had previously attended Movin' Out, based upon a representation of Billy Joel's body of work.

This stage production is a story constructed around the music of the 70's Swedish musical group, ABBA. Mamma Mia is set on a Greek Island, about the time of our recent Millenial Celebrations. A brief synopsis: A young 70's girl is in Greece with her nightclub girls trio and gets pregnant, doesn't know who the father is, opens a small resort on a local island and raises her daughter alone. Fast forward 20 years, the daughter is getting married and wants her father to give her away, so invites all 3 potential fathers, hoping she will "know" which one is he. Drama and intrigue ensue.

The show was delightful, the principals talented and a pleasure. There was much light hearted humor and hamming it up. But to be honest, the best part of the night was the triple encore curtain call, actually planned of course. We were up on our feet, clapping and swaying and of course singing along! (All except for the fuddy duddy couple seated next to us, the man on his cell phone all night. I know a lot about his business concerns). The excitement we keep discussing is how the 80 year old balcony was doing a lot of swaying and hopping as the audience revelled in the encores! We thought we were gonna make the nightly news!
Look again at that photo of the balcony...
we were the first 2 seats on the left in the very front row.
Great seats.
Long way to crash down.
We are O-Kay!

It was fun!
Oh, and soon to be released as a Hollywood movie starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth...


Beverly said...

You chose exactly the right word. It is magnificent. What an incredible restoration project.

Have heard great things about Mama Mia.

Jeanne said...

Wow! I came over from Beverly's post, How Sweet the Sound, and I'm glad I did.

I have four sisters and the five of us went to New York City for a week a few years ago. We had tickets to see 'Momma Mia' and 'Movin On', what a wonderful week we had. My sister's sister-in-law's husband's brother, is the guy who sang all the music for Movin On. He gave us tickets or else we would never seen it.

I didn't know Momma Mia was made into a movie. I can't wait until it comes out.

I loved the theater and your romantic gift to your husband. Great post.


cookie said...

Oh Shay,

It's so fun visiting you. I love the texture and music and colors on your blog. I feel happy when I click to Thirty and Holding. Thanks for celebrating with me this month. I'm celebrating that I reached my 5000th unique visitor (not 5000th post) So after reading your note I became curious about the number of actual posts I have written and went back to check. Today's post was number 191. It will take me YEARS to have 5000!

I'm going to add you to my list of blogs that I visit so that I will be able to find you without a lot of searching, and also so that my readers will find you as well.

Wishing you a great week. I Loved Mama Mia!