Money money money, must be sunny, in the ABBA world.
The prospect of Meryl Streep singing has cash registers ringing: "Mamma Mia!," the Abba jukebox movie musical based on the stage phenom, has made $331 million -- and counting -- worldwide. And Universal is betting that the pot will grow even larger when it releases a Sing-a-Long version this week at selected theaters, including the AMC Neshaminy, Showcase at the Ritz in Voorhees and the Wilmington Regal.
Having recently ferried a car full of 12-year-olds who sang, loudly and lustily, along with the movie soundtrack all the way to the Jersey Shore, I can vouch that an Abba sing-a-long is a most buoyant means of getting tweens to express that restless energy. But much as I enjoyed their impromptu chorus -- something primal about group singing, yes? -- I don't now nor have I ever "got" Abba. For me, the lyrics sound as though translated from the Esperanto, the music a muchness of marimba and the message a xerox of a fax of an e-mail of a feeling.
As I wrote in my review of "Mamma Mia!," although I was born with the gene for loving musicals, I lack the DNA sequence that permits Abba appreciation.