“Mamma Mia!” has landed in Chicago once again for the, count it, fifth time to spend a limited engagement at the Auditorium Theatre. If you are not one of the 30 million people who have seen the show, it goes a little something like this: a single mother owns a small hotel on a Greek island. Her daughter is getting married and secretly invites the three men that may be her father. The mother does not know. She finds out and crazy shenanigans ensue. All of this is set to the music of ABBA, that 1970s Swedish pop sensation. If it all sounds a little contrived…well it is. The story is forced to fit the music and often left me forgetting what they were even singing about when performers got lost in catchy, repetitious melodies. The music, however, is also the great part. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’ songs cry out for theatrical staging and the cast of “Mamma Mia!” deliver vocal chops that sound great on the material. The theater snob in me says, “Why can’t they just lose the horrible story and sing the songs?” The rest of me agrees with the smiling audience that filled the theater. “Mamma Mia!” is big-budget, toe-tapping, cheesy musical theater fun. (William Scott)
At the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Congress Pkwy, (312)902-1400. Through Sept. 28.