Tag Archives: mamma mia

Film versus Broadway, Birthday Edition: Mamma Mia!, Kinky Boots, and The King and I

19 Aug

Back in February I wrote about Broadway shows that I have recently seen and their film and music companions. I decided to write another installment to talk about two shows I’ve recently seen because the tickets to these shows were birthday presents for my mother and a friend, respectively. Also, my own birthday is coming and I wanted to write about which show I would like to receive tickets for as a gift. 🙂

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Mamma Mia!

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Mamma Mia!, a jukebox musical featuring selections from ABBA’s catalog, follows Sophie as she tries to learn who her father is before her wedding without her mother Donna finding out. Tickets to this show were my birthday gift to my mother. While we missed the opening songs of the show, on account of traffic from President Obama’s motorcade in Times Square traveling to see Hamilton that day, we still a fun time. Audience members are invited to dance at the end of the show!

Mamma Mia! ends its Broadway run on September 12, 2015 and will be the eighth longest running show. If you can’t make it to the live show, you can borrow the film adaptation from 2008 that stars Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. For a time that was my niece’s favorite movie when she was six years old, which proves that ABBA’s music appeals to new generations! My favorite numbers are “Waterloo” (because how many love songs name-check the Emperor Napoleon?) and “Lay All Your Love On Me.” Mom’s favorite song is “Voulez-Vous”, and my niece loved “Mamma Mia!”

Hoopla Digital has the soundtracks to both the film and the musical to stream. The DVD and CDs of the film and Original Cast Recording soundtracks are available to borrow from BCCLS libraries as well. If you need more of an ABBA fix, their greatest hits album Gold is available to borrow and to stream in Hoopla. There is also Muriel’s Wedding, a 1994 Australian film where ABBA’s music is prominently featured.

Kinky Boots

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Seeing Kinky Boots was a birthday present for a friend, and thankfully our arrival was not delayed by the President’s motorcade. This Tony Award-winning show, which was brought to Broadway by Harvey Fierstein with music and lyrics written by Cyndi Lauper, is about how Charlie Price tries to save his family’s failing men’s shoes business by teaming up with a drag queen named Lola to produce quality “kinky boots” for drag performers.

Acceptance and tolerance, plus friendship, family, and loyalty, are major themes of the show. And of course, sexy shoes are featured. There is even a song called “Sex Is In the Heel”.

The source material is a 2005 British movie of the same name, which I found to be darker than the musical. Cyndi Lauper’s music definitely brings levity to the story. If you love Cyndi Lauper as much as I do (She’s So Unusual was the first cassette tape I owned!) then you will adore this show, as her style shines through in the music. The closing song, “Raise You Up”, will do just that.

The original film is available to borrow from BCCLS libraries, and the film’s soundtrack can be streamed on Hoopla. The Broadway Cast soundtrack is available to borrow as well. My favorite Cyndi Lauper album She’s So Unusual can be borrowed too.

The King and I

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Ok, I haven’t seen this Tony Award-winning revival that stars Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe. Yet.

The King and I is based on the book, Anna and the King of Siam, tells the story of Anna, a British woman who travels with her young son to Siam (now known as Thailand) to teach the children of the King, and her life in the King’s court in a culture that vastly differs from hers.

The King and I is one Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musicals. I’ve seen Oklahoma! at the Paper Mill Playhouse and South Pacific in a recent Broadway revival that starred Kelli O’Hara, but The King and I holds a special place in my heart. As a kid I participated in a production of this show, and remember every single song. “Shall We Dance” and “Whistle A Happy Tune” are the perhaps the best known, but I always liked the show-within-the-show of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe that had a Buddhist twist.

You can borrow the 1956 film adaptation, which stars Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner, at BCCLS libraries; the film soundtrack is Hoopla. The Broadway soundtracks (original cast and current cast) can be streamed on Hoopla Digital.

As mentioned in the first paragraph, my birthday is approaching … so here’s my appeal:

Dear friends and family,

Should you be reading this post, which I will share on my personal social media networks for you to see, a ticket to The King and I would be a very welcome birthday present*!

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

*Tickets to Hamilton are welcome, too. President Obama has good cultural taste, based upon his summer reading choices and Spotify playlist, so I trust his theater picks.

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