Miss M and I have just come back from seeing Mamma Mia, courtesy of one of my gorgeous clients (thanks Clive!).
It was a very sweet film, with just the right amount of emotion, laughs, and Stellen Skarsgaad, who I suddenly have a bit of a thing for. My favorite thing about it though, was my nine year old child knowing almost all the words to the songs.
I’m not really sure how it happened, since my home has been an ABBA free zone since I hit my teens, but I could hear her singing under her breath to nearly every tune. ABBA were definitely a huge part of my early life, and I can still remember being at my friend Imogen’s house when I was younger than Miss M, dressing up and performing for her parents (how delighted they must have been!). The only issue was both of us having dark hair meant we always fought over who would be Annefried. I’m not sure why we didn’t want to be the blonde.
Then slowly as I grew up, I moved into a a phase where their poppy tunes no longer held me in thrall, and strange smock-like clothing didn’t rock my world any more. It might’ve been when I discovered Au-Go-Go records and their mailing service, and started worshipping the Ramones. Ah Joey, no one will ever replace you in my mind.
Anyway, I digress. In the last three months we’ve been to see three musicals. Again, courtesy of Clive, we got preview tickets to Wicked, and I have never seen Miss M so enthralled by anything. She sat on the edge of her seat, gripping the armrests with white knuckles. The show was long, and we didn’t get out of the theatre until after 11pm, but she was so pumped on adrenaline she couldn’t relax.
A couple of weeks ago, my father Josh came to stay with us, and we took him to see Guys and Dolls as his birthday present. Totally different in style to Wicked, and a much less glamorous show, Miss M was still quite captivated, and for days afterwards I was treated to random songs from the show, most notably, “Sit down you’re rocking the boat”, which was used any time I tried to get her to do anything she didn’t want to. She’s also quite partial to “I’ve got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere, and there’s a guy who says that if the weather’s clear …”, but she needs a partner in crime to sing the “can do” part. Josh often obliged.
Miss M is now talking about becoming a costume designer or movie make up artist, and I was impressed to see she noticed the difference in Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia and The Devil Wears Prada, and after seeing Madonna’s new film clip this morning mentioned how much makeup she had on to cover up the “old lines”, going on to point out exactly which “old lines” she meant. I stifled my horror, since if Madonna has “old lines”, I have no hope, but there’s no denying she’s right.
Some time in the distant future, when she’s helping me cover up signs of age, and advising me on my wardrobe choices, I’ll think back to these three stage and screen events (and Clive), and their impact on my maniacal girl, who loves glitz and glamour, and rightly belongs in exactly that world.