Mamma Mia

Now playing at the Cadillac Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway.

Escapism comes easily to some people, but I’m not one of them. I don’t have anything against escapism (though I wouldn’t want to live in world where every movie, book and play was mere frivolity), and I enjoy it when it clicks with me, but more often than not, I sit frowning in my seat, picking holes in the plot, overanalyzing the themes, and generally driving everyone around me crazy by subjecting a goofy romantic comedy to the same critical rigor I would, say, a Shakespeare play.

Not wanting to alienate my loving family members, I went to Mamma Mia, a weightless Broadway confection featuring the music of ABBA, with a mantra — It’s only a silly musical — that I silently intoned to myself through the production. The mantra was supposed to prevent me from being a dispassionate killjoy. I’m not sure whether it worked, but it certainly got plenty of use.