Submitted by Peg Doman.
Tacoma Musical Playhouse opened their production of Mamma Mia to cheers and riotous clapping. The audience loved it. There were cheering, hooting and hollering to show appreciation of the cast and to cheer them on.
When the curtains opened, I was stunned by the set. Designer Blake York and master stage carpenter Dennis Kurtz created the Greek island courtyard of a taverna, a country inn with a bar. The height of the stucco buildings was at least two stories with a bell tower in the distance. The left of the stage had a two-story building with a wrought iron staircase (nice touch Blake and Dennis!) and in the center was a passageway into the distance. To the right was another building with a porch with flowers trailing down the post. In the welcoming courtyard were tables and chairs. If we just had warm sun on our backs and a cool breeze, we’d have been right at home.
You know the story from the movie: A ferociously single mother Donna (Linda Palacios) and her 20-year old daughter Sophie (Maggie Barry) live on small Greek island and run the country inn. Sophie is getting married and has never met or even known the name of her father. Unbeknownst to Donna, she invites the three men mentioned in her mother’s diary of about the pertinent time; she wants her father to walk her down the aisle. Donna’s friends Rosie (Michele Bettinger) and Tanya (Dana Johnson), co-members of their former trio The Dynamos show up; Sophie’s friends show up; the groom Sky’s (Donavan Mahannah) friends show up. The three potential dads, Sam (Scott Polovitch-Davis), Bill (Sam Barker) and Harry (Gary Chambers) show up and the cavorting begins.
Jeffrey Stvrtecky’s combo makes wonderful music; several of the singers, including Palacios, Barry and Polovitch-Davis, have outstanding voices and the chorus makes beautiful harmonies. The competent young dancers are so energetic and sure footed in Jon Douglas Rakes’ choreography I might have been tempted to dance in the aisles, but sobriety prevailed. A stage full of dancer-singers is just so joyful. All the actors seemed to be wearing their own clothes, they looked so comfortable, and add that those young women were wearing summer dresses, flowered, patterned and all colorful. Their enthusiasm carries us back to our youth when we could dance until two and still get up in the morning. There are several hilarious dance numbers; the groomsmen are a kick (yes, that was deliberate). ABBA’s familiar dance music brings up memories of the disco era with platform shoes, mini-skirts, and sweating in polyester.
And, the TMP Education Department is having a Mamma Mia! Music camp for grades 10 through graduating seniors from July 15 through August 11 with performance dates of Saturday, August 10 at 7 pm and Sunday, August 11 at 2 pm. For information, go to tmp.org and click on the Education link.
For tickets, go to tmp.org and click on the Tickets link.