During my last few trips to London in between 2005-2006, I dropped by West End many times as I am a die-hard musical fan. Growing up in an all-girls’ school with a strong heritage in staging quality musicals, it was ingrained into me that I must go see at least one or two of the West End shows. I knew ‘Mamma mia’ was on top of the list, so was ‘Wicked’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’, etc, etc. However,while I was in that great city, I only managed to catch ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘the Lion King’ due to the popularity of the top-rated shows- sold-out way on all the days I was in town.
It was no surprise that I quickly agreed to the plan and began planning my last week of 2008, hoping that it will be a wonderful big bang closure to an eventful year.
On the day my two close comrades-in-Christ tied the knot at the Dream Centre (that would be another story as soon as the pictures are out), Fenky, my little bro (who is not-so-little compared to mua) and I made our way in Ben’s car to Istana Budaya. I was wearing a very festive dress in my favourite colour (purple dress mah)
Fenky and I were both very excited as we are familiar with Abba songs due to our parents’ influence. Actually, I know the songs because dancing queen was one of my school band regular repertoire and back in the 1990s, we played the song over and over and over again during our marches. Ah, those were the day..
The moment ‘I have a dream’ started, the roller-coaster of emotions started. Most of us knew the lyrics of the songs as we hummed along with the cast. The sweet and simple storyline was touching and at times funny. When they sang ‘Money, money, money’ and ‘Mamma mia’, we were drawn to the 70s in full force..it was as if we were caught in a time warp.
Truthfully, after a while, the novelty grew a bit stale and the whole thing got a bit tedious. The musical seemed to be longer than ‘Fame’, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ or ‘Lion King’ as the songs seemed to go on and on and on. By the time they reach ‘Winner Takes it All’, I wished that they would hurry up and finish the show as it dragged to almost 11 pm. I guess the audience really lept to their feet in relief when we were all invited to dance together with the cast during the encore!
Of course I enjoyed the performance tremendously. I just wished that I didn’t have such a high expectation of the show. Or maybe I should be less of a cheapskate and buy a much better seat to get a better view. Or maybe I should be more patient and learn to appreciate the fact that we really got our money worth as there really make a big effort to sing most of Abba’s best hits. Well, thank you for the music anyway!