Resisting the Lucas-esque compulsion to digitally swap Pierce Brosnan's open-throated squawk with a mellifluous gay lilt, Universal has instead touched on a decidedly more modest touch in tweaking its hit Mamma Mia! for a late-summer revival: Subtitles, and plenty of them. Behold Mamma Mia! The Sing-Along Version, announced earlier this month and finally making its way into karaoke-plexes near you this weekend. And the early reviews describe just the scenario that can make the ABBA musical a phenomenon all over again:
The sing-a-long edition makes it easier — and in fact encourages audience members — to sing along with the characters, and their fellow audience members, in effect contrasting those pre-show public service announcements scolding that silence is golden. The lyrics to the songs are displayed in bright, colorful letters at the bottom of the screen. At a preview screening of the sing-a-long edition earlier this week — probably apropos to nothing, the same night Hillary Clinton gave her speech at the Democratic National Convention — a crowd of mostly women, many around age 50, seemed tentative at first to give it their all, but relaxed and seemed a little more comfortable with the concept toward the end of the screening. If they had sold shots of ouzo at the concession stand, that might have helped, quite frankly.
Hence the rumored, BYOB Mamma Mia! The Drink-Along Version planned for re-re-release some time this fall, with viewers receiving limited-edition shot glasses and instructions for concocting the deliciously fruity (if slightly bitter) new cocktail "The Brosnan." Or maybe that one's just better suited for DVD.