Mamma Mia! The night is young and the music is high at the Westchester Broadway Theater

Published: Thursday, April 6, 2017 By: Irene Wallace Source: I On The Valley

Mamma Mia! the long running Broadway and international musical hit has opened at the Westchester Broadway Theater.  The musical based on the songs by the famous 1970s European pop group ABBA, was written by British playwright Catherine Johnson and opened in London in 1999 where it was a huge hit.  The musical opened on Broadway in 2001 where it ran for an astonishing 14 years making it the 8th longest running production in Broadway history.  The Broadway production earned numerous Tony and Drama Desk awards.   The current production is fun, upbeat and lively and the audience was singing and swaying  to the music during the performance.  This is the 200th Main stage performance at the Westchester Broadway Theater.

The story:  Mamma Mia! takes place on a Greek island where we meet Donna Sheridan (Michelle Dawson) who runs a taverna and lives with her daughter Sophie (Mariah McFarland) who is about to get married to her fiancé Sky (Nathan Cockroft).  Sophie plans to leave her mother and the island behind and start  a new life.  To celebrate the wedding , Donna invites her old friends  Tanya and Rosie who were part of her back band “Donna and the Dynamos” back when they were young.

Sophie who has never known who her father is, finds her mother’s diary and discovers the names of three men who could be her father.  She secretly invites all of them to her wedding to finally find  the truth. As the guests arrive and the story further unfolds, the cast learns more about each other, lost loves and lost opportunities.  In all this chaos, the bride-to-be Sophie finds she has some thinking to do in light of all these revelations.  The pop infused and catchy songs keep the story light and the evening moves effortlessly to its concert like conclusion.

The cast is excellent with Michelle Dawson returning again to the WBT stage as Donna.  We really loved her performance last year as Aldonza in Man of La Mancha.  Other WBT vets include Xander Chauncey (Sam) and Kilty Reidy (Harry Bright) who we last enjoyed on stage in Christmas Inn this past December at the WBT.  The cast is large with 20 cast members filling the stage.   Other notable performances were by Elise Kinnon (Tanya), Jennifer Swiderski (Rosie),and  Brent Batemen (Bill Austin).  Directed by Mark Martino.

If you are looking for a fun night out with dinner and a great show performed by accomplished actors (many who are members of Actors Equity), then by all means see Mamma Mia!   The show runs through June 25th 2017.