The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre is thrilled to bring the energetic, groovy classic hit Mamma Mia! to its stage June 21 through July 14. This story about a mother, a daughter, and three dads—told brilliantly through the familiar tunes of ABBA— will keep you smiling and your foot tapping from the opening scene through the grand finale (which may or may not involve beach balls).
“It’s a fun show,” said Bob Cantler, who plays Sam Carmichael, one of the three fathers. “There’s a lot of energy and incredible music. I love this show.”
Set in the Greek islands, this is the story of Sophie, a young lady who desires to find out who her dad is before her upcoming marriage. She discovers there are three possibilities, and, unbeknownst to her mother, Donna, she invites each of them to her wedding. Mix these potential fathers with Donna’s feisty former band members, as well as many other engaging characters, and hilarity, misunderstandings, and good times will ensue.
Diane Taveau, who plays the lead role of Donna Sheridan, said, “I think the story is a really sweet one, and it touches people in all aspects of their lives. It’s one that is relatable to a lot of different people. It’s about relationships. If you’ve ever been in a relationship or want to be in a relationship, you can relate to this show.”
Not only will audiences find the storyline relatable but also the fantastic music. Most everyone will want to sing along to the songs like “Dancing Queen,” “Waterloo,” and the title song, “Mamma Mia,” by the 1970s Swedish pop group ABBA.
“ABBA music has always been a part of my life,” said Rebecca Latham who plays Sophie. “I grew up with it. My mom and I used to sing ‘Dancing Queen’ all the time. So it’s nostalgic reliving that experience, now with Donna as my stage mom.”
“I grew up watching the show along with lots of my friends,” said college student, Cody Shivers, who portrays Sophie’s fiancé, Sky. “You cannot watch this and not end up tapping your foot. The music is so much fun.”
Heather Allen, the show’s choreographer, understands the importance of the music. “I love that the music will be so familiar to the audience that they’ll want to be singing and dancing themselves. That will help them connect to the story.”
However, the cast reiterated that you don’t have to be a diehard ABBA fan to enjoy the show. It’s engaging and delightful even if you’ve never heard of them.
“This is a joyful and fun show from the beginning to the end,” said director Jennifer Ross-Bernhardt. “If you want your spirits lifted and you want to be happy, then come and see this production.”
Mamma Mia! is written by Catherine Johnson with music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. This show is directed by Jennifer Ross-Bernhardt, music directed by Shawn Hale, and choreographed by Heather Allen. The JRT thanks the show sponsors: Tennessee Hills Distillery, Henry & Flora Joy, Al & Laurie Fathery, Denny Dentistry, Morningstar Farm, and Sonia King/Mary B. Martin.
Rounding out the cast are Hannah Bare, David Campbell, Trinity Dixon, Liz Dollar, Ryan Gray, Pam Hagin, Shawn Hale, Megan Knight, Charles Landry, Bennett Little, Alayasha Martin, Jacob Maurer, Paul McQuaid, Joy Nagy, Jessie Scarbrough, Brooke Shelton, Joe Smith, Catherine Squibb, Alex Vanburen, Anna VanEaton, Krista Wharton, and Lucas Wilcox.
Shows run June 21 through July 14: Thursdays (except July 4) through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $16 general admission, $14 for students and seniors. There is also a special group rate for parties of 15 or more. (An interpreter will be provided for the deaf on Saturday, July 13, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for these select seats must be purchased by June 22.) To purchase tickets, call the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 423.753.1010 or go online to www.jonesboroughtheatre.com.