FOF #652 – The Mama Mia Effect

Nov 16, 2007 · 1985 views

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Stop the madness people! You know I really mean it when I start quoting Susan Powter in the show notes. But come on, how many repackaged pop songs in disguise as musicals are we going […]


  1. Barbara says:

    I cannot wait to see the video of you and your mom cooking. I need a recipe for leftover turkey. Turkey and rice sounds great. I have an 18 lb turkey and it is only for me and my 2 cats.

  2. I enjoy cooking with my mother every year. We usually get the turkey stuffed early in the morning and let it roast all day long. We each make different things each year. We’ll take turns doing yams, casseroles, and the usual fare. This year though, I’m making some pumpkin pies from scratch. I’m sure everyone’s done it once or twice just for fun. I made them for my ex one year and he thought they didn’t taste as good as store bought so I stopped making them. Since I don’t have the ex anymore and my husbear loves to try my baking, I’m going to give it a whirl. Maybe I’ll even try a sugar crème pie.

  3. Gary T says:

    LOL … “A face made for chimping” is right up there with “sexual extremists”. I always love the energy when Gregg is on the show.

  4. Oh and FYI, Anal sex is illegal in Utah. Actually, about all you can do here is married heterosexual missionary sex.

  5. groggy says:

    This week was so busy with fabulous guests and that’s great!

    But please, I beg you! Give me Amanda back! I miss her smashing my eardrums.

  6. Guys, Love the show. Love the rooster story. I almost peed myself!! LOL 😉 Can’t wait to see the Video of you and your mom cooking, yay a new receipe to try!! Just got my “Goodie Box” Thanks so much guys I will have to send you guys a pic of me in the TShirt. See you guys soon. be good!! kisses and please have Miss Ronnie on again soon!! La Bomba Atomica!! adios mi amor!!

  7. Maia says:

    Hasenpfeffer Fridays? Is it okay to eat rabbit on Lent?

    If it doesn’t count as meat, let me know. After 10+ months of vege/pescetarianism, I’m getting hungry…

  8. I agree with groggy. Ilove the great guests but I miss Amanda Ronnie and Sal-E.

  9. Ben says:

    Wow that’s a really pretty closing song. I might just have to buy it! 😀 You guys should make a deal with the artists to do a FOF CD containing music by the indy artists played on the show. That would kick ass! Sort of like a conglomeration of tunes featured on the FOF. I’m sure it would sell on ITunes.

  10. Kris says:

    A great week of FOF, you guys! The rooster story was hillarious! Like something out of a David Sedaris book.

  11. PupDon says:

    I just want to say that I have a crush on Gregg Shapiro. Maybe it’s the shaved head and goatee (a look which I often sport and am very turned on by in other men). Maybe it’s the fact that he’s got a necklace with a gold 45 rpm adapter hanging from it (and how many of you actually know what those are, I’m showing my age, yikes). Maybe it’s the fact that he’s such a pop culture junkie that I know we would have tons to talk about. Now if he were only kinky he’d be my perfect match. Sigh.

    I had to comment about the Mamma Mia Effect you guys were talking about. It’s not like this is an original idea. I remember bitching about this very thing when Moulin Rouge (a movie I absolutely hated) came out. A close friend pointed out that the idea of using popular songs to tell a story in a musical goes back to the big MGM musicals. They often used songs that were well known as standards back then, but through the years the songs have become associated with the movies rather than the people who originally recorded them. And when I saw Across the Universe the first thing I thought was, “Oh my God, they’ve remade Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but without the Bee Gee’s.” Actually, it seems more like a remake of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, but using Beatles music instead of the famous French composer. (See Greg, I am the man for you. Come over to the dark side.)

  12. Ventura79 says:

    I LOVE GREGG!!!! he is so cultured and I feel smarter after i have listened to him on the show…..

    Lance Bass’ face..cant stand it, he has those gigantic eyes that look as if they can curse u just by glarin at u! GROSS!! Im sure Reichen only had sex with him when Lance would wear sunglasses, cuz that would be too scary if he didnt !!!

    Great Show guys, have a faguloz weekend

  13. BrettC says:

    I love Gregg too. In fact I probably have a crush on him AND PupDon… so there!

    The “Mamma Mia” effect is a strange one. People like things to be familiar, and rarely do show tunes crossover to become hits like they used to. So the easiest way to suck people in the theatres is to promise them tunes they recognize immediately. In addition to Abba, there are revues around the Beach Boys, Queen, Bob Dylan, Elvis, the Beatles (count the Cirque show too!), and anything you can think of. We’ve seen movies become musicals like SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, XANADU, THE PRODUCERS, and the just opened YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Then there’s all the Disney musicals too. Muscial theatre is really becoming bland, boring, and safe. But what can you do when the pop songs mean profit? I think we’re stuck with the “Mamma Mia” effect for quite a while.

    I’d rather see a Sondheim show, but what can you do?

  14. Mr Bungee says:

    When you’re talking musical theatre, you definitely prick up my ears (ouch). I’ve seen just about every Broadway musical in the past 25 years, and I hope this jukebox trend fades away soon. Even if Jersey Boys attempts to tell the story of the Four Seasons, this isn’t great musical theatre, despite what the Tony committee and general public thinks. For me, good musical theatre is the telling of an interesting story, using original music and lyrics to convey and boost the emotions and inner thoughts of the characters. When a story screeches to a halt for a five minute song that has nothing to do with the story, I tune out. Mamma Mia is the worst example. A terrible story shoehorned betwen ABBA hits. For god’s sake, there is no way to insert Chiquitita into the plot and have it make sense.

    The only jukebox musicals I’ve enjoyed are Movin’ Out and We Will Rock You. Movin’ Out was a dance musical, and the incredible dancing made up for the threadbare storyline pieced together based on a random assortment of Billy Joel tunes. And it ran a lot longer than three days. Over 3 years on Broadway. We Will Rock You uses the Queen songbook. It had a ridiculous storyline tying it together, but raised it to a glamourous, campy level that worked.

    The worst jukebox musicals I’ve seen were Good Vibrations, which featured Beach Boys music and ran for about 3 months, and The Times They Are A-Changin’, a 3-week catastrophe featuring Bob Dylan music.

    And have you seen Caroline or Change?? If not, it’s hard to explain why it was more than a show about a maid in a basement. This was a show that was unlike and more emotional than any other show I can think of. Despite the singing washer and dryer, it was a very ‘real’ show. So passionate about real problems of real people dealing with racial, gender and social politics, as well as the historical events that shaped the 60s. Tonya Pinkins deserved the Tony award for her portrayal of a woman feeling so hopelessly trapped in her life that she’s prays for God to help her not let her bitterness and anger get the best of her. Oh sure, it’s not as deep and meaningful as Wicked…

    Thanks for talking theatre once in a while on the show. I’ve been listening since the beginning, and once in a while, it’s fun when Fausto lets his show queen side out. Don’t hold back. Sing out Louise.

  15. I didnt knew Abba means Dad really interesting taht y i like this show I always learn useslles information lol Luv the show guys have a nice weekend

  16. Yes, Abba means father in Hebrew. Barabbas, the guy that they set free instead of Jesus, name means “Son of the Father,”like “bar mitvah” means “son of the law.” And that is your Hebrew lesson for today.

  17. Ace&Bubba says:

    I know its gonna be a great show when greg is on. His laugh and wit are very fun to listen to. He makes a good contrast to Marc and Fausto. I think they always have great shows with greg. But my favorite thing about this episode is when fausto freaked out about Tony Kushner…”fuck you tony kushner….” I don’t know but i love it when fausto Says that line….he says it with such verve and gusto it winds me up. Anyhow great show everyone!

  18. I LOVED this episode. It was so light-hearted and full of laughs. I love that you kept it fun and even joked about Lance Bass’ new book, Out of Sync. I loved Gregg’s “Back in Sync” remark. Great show as always!

  19. Yves says:

    And no Fausto French people do not eat squarrels in France…!

  20. Xavi says:

    Fausto…I LOVED hearing your opinion on Caroline or Change, which is 100% opposite of mine. It was the first time I cried at a performance not because it was sad, but because it was so beautiful (I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman when she cries at the opera). To me it was about relationships, good and bad. Definitely my favorite.

    I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that my 2nd favorite broadway show is a Mama Mia effect show currently on broadway…Xanadu! No, wait, I take it back. i’m not embarrassed. 🙂

    I was in NY again last weekend but missed out due to the strike.

    Greg…come on more often!

    (ps…fausto, who’s the sexy guy licking your ear at the SF show? ohmygawd…its me!) jajaja

  21. Tyto Alba says:

    Well if not in France then where do French people eat them, Yves?

  22. It’s frogs they eat in France.

  23. I’m just giving Tony Kushner some shade, Xavi. I kid because I love his work.

    But the title he have to the show ensured it would kill it. The name was “too obtuse” as they say in media circles. The name would make most people wonder what the show was about. he was trying to be “smart” about the title, instead of calling the show: “Caroline’s Change” or “Changing Caroline” or “Caroline at the Crossroads.”

    It’s like calling our show “Of Fools And Feast” or “Fools, For Wait Feast.” New Yorkers just love nonsensical shows, like “Waiting for Godot” or “Cats.”

  24. Robbie says:

    Marc, I’m so impressed with your knowledge of Hebrew! (And Aramaic, actually, since both “Abba” and “bar” are actually Aramaic words that made their way into Hebrew over time.)

    I also think we should have a Hebrew lesson every day, but that’s probably just me.

  25. bowdownza says:

    you know you are a true theater fag when the mention of Tony Kushner’s name makes you go red with rage in two seconds. That rant was the funniest thing I heard all day Fausto.

  26. Loved this ep – all 3 of yous wuz hilariouz.

  27. I actually liked across the universe, it was very well done, even if the music wasn’t original.

  28. Hey… great show today. Btw, I eat squirl once… and to tell the truth, I ain’t so special, nor tasty. Bye people!

  29. I adore it when Gregg Shapiro is on….I logged in today to find out what he looks like because I suddenly realised I have this image in my head of him looking like Greg Proops from Whose Line Is It Anyway? !

    Thanks for bringing up the topic of musicals based on/around pop songs/movies and not stories written for musical theatre with original songs that progress the plot….in London’s West End there are tons of these playing now:

    Mama Mia (songs of Abba)
    Desperately Seeking Susan (based on the movie, with the songs of Blondie….what the hell?)
    We Will Rock You (songs of Queen)
    Never Forget (songs of Take That)
    Buddy (songs of Buddy Holly)

    Hairspray (based on the movie)
    Gone with the Wind (based on the book/movie)
    Dirty Dancing (based on the movie)
    Footloose (based on the movie)
    Billy Elliot (based on the movie)
    Lord of the Rings (based on books, capitalising on recent movies)
    Spamalot (based on Holy Grail movie, but with original content added, so they’re somewhat forgiven)
    Lion King (based on the movie)

    It feels like everything out there is something I’ve already seen in another form. Going to Avenue Q in January and soooooo looking forward to it as it seems like the only NEW original thing happening!

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