Original Article: http://www.chicagonow.com/lets-play/2019/02/mamma-mia/
Drury Lane has brought to the stage the 1999 international megahit musical Mamma Mia, and it’s a blast. This musical will have you dancing in the isles and remembering the days of bell-bottom pants and platform shoes. Written by Catherine Johnson, this play which features all of the songs from the group known as ABBA, Mamma Mia is delightfully entertaining and exhilarating.
As the lights dim, the audience gets a musical treat as the orchestra plays some of the greatest hit songs of the ’70s from ABBA, such hits as Chiquitita, Dancing Queen and Honey, Honey, S.O.S. and many more.
As the curtains slowly open, you witness an island resort that doesn’t necessarily have all of the amenities of the Hilton, but it’s a place where a lost and trouble woman can find rest and peace for her soul. This woman has, as Willie Nelson would say, "loved before," and from one of those loves, she has created the joy of his life; a daughter named Sophie. She is a young, soon to be bride, who is excited about her wedding date but inside, a little girl is longing to meet her father.
Her mother has never revealed who he was to Sophie; however, she finds a book, a diary, with three men's names in it. Men that her mother had a relationship with on the Greek island of Kalokairi. Sophie invites all three men to the island; however, they have no idea that they are coming to a wedding or maybe seeing their daughter for the first time and Donna (Susie McMonagle), her mother has no idea her former lovers will all be there together.
As Sophie (Rebecca Hurd) sets up the plot, she shares her secret with her two friends, Ali (Sierra Schnack) and Lisa (Katherine Lee Bourne). Ali and Lisa help Sophie try to discover which man is her real father before her mother realizes they are on the island. One by one, she meets, Sam Carmichael (Jeff Parker), an American Architect, Australian writer Bill Anderson (Michael Accardo), and Harry Bright (Stef Tovar) a British Banker.
Each man has a different story to tell about meeting and loving Donna and why they came back to the island, hoping to see the dancing queen that stole their hearts one summer in Kalokairi. Sophie, with dreams of being given away by her father at her wedding, was excited to learn about the times they shared with her mother, hoping that something would be said to help her figure out which one was indeed the father of the bride; but is Donna really up for this surprise? She’s not 100% behind her daughter Sophie getting married and seeing her long-lost flames may stop the wedding even before Sophie says “I Do.”
Produced as a 2008 hit musical movie featuring Meryl Streep as Donna and Amanda Seyfried as Sophie, this romantic musical comedy was directed by Phyllida Lloyd and the film was an international co-production between Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Director William Osetek does an excellent job bringing this play to life at Drury Lane, and with the music directed by Roberta Duchak and Jane Lanier who choreographed this production it was just amazing; each scene was like well, dare I say, Mamma Mia!
Hurd was just as adorable as Sophie Sheridan. She was the picture perfect girl next door that just happened to live on an exotic island. Her smile lights up the theater, and her relationship with her mother, who has raised her to be the perfect lady will send a warm and fuzzy feeling within your heart.
Donna played by Susie McMonagle well known for her roles throughout Chicagoland theaters. She's performed at Goodman, Writers Theatre, Broadway In Chicago and returns again to Drury Lane. McMonagle was magnificent, and she owned the role of Donna Sheridan. McMonagle talents as an actor and singer shine throughout the play and with the duo of talented girl power played by the ever graceful cougar McKinley Carter (Tanya) and the feisty and lovable Elizabeth Ledo (Rosie), these three women make for an incredible night of magical "Super Trouper" fun as the memorable "Donna and the Dynamos!"
This night goes to the ladies; however, Micheal Accordo, Sam Carmichael and Stef Tovar, all returning to Drury Lane held up their end as fathers to be and former lovers of Donna. These season professional are right at home grooving to the songs from ABBA and making a love boat performance as three men decide its okay to be the father and a friend.
Let’s Play Recommend Mamma Mia at Drury Lane Theater.
Music and Lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
and some songs with Stig Anderson
Book by Catherine Johnson
Originally Conceived by Judy Craymer
Directed by William Osetek
Choreographed by Jane Lanier
February 7 – April 14, 2019