PHOTOS: Upper School Students Bring Upbeat, Energetic Musical Mamma Mia to Life

The cast and crew of the Upper School musical Mamma Mia finished an energetic production schedule last week, which included previews to the Upper School, professional community and parents, as well as sold-out performances in the Hurlbut Theater.
At all shows and especially on Friday evening, audience members were encouraged to wear their favorite Mamma Mia-inspired outfits to pose for pictures and post on Instagram. Friends, family, classmates and more were in the audience, enjoying the upbeat musical numbers, energetic choreography designed by Michelle Hanna, the hilarity of the Scuba crew, and the tangled web of relationships that make up the plot of the light-hearted show with music that is known and loved. Before one show, Mamma Mia’s original Broadway cast member, Chris Prinzo, visited the cast via Zoom to offer advice and support.
The plot revolved around young Sophie Sheridan (Maddie Bendzick) wanting her father to be at her wedding in Greece. However, she had never met her father and her mom, Donna (Olivia Ostlund) never spoke of him. After reading her mom’s diary, Sophie mails invitations to three men who might be her father: Harry Bright (Rylan Rodrigues-Zahn), Bill Austin (Cole Robinson) and Sam Carmichael (Conrad Kistler). As guests arrive for the wedding, Sophie is surrounded by her friends, Ali (Michaela McCusker) and Lisa (Aili McGregor). And Donna reunites with her former bandmates, Tanya (Chloe Thompson) and Rosie (Neela Gerayli). The cast and crew worked together to tell the story and produce incredibly entertaining numbers including “Voulez-Vous”, “Take a Chance on Me” and “Dancing Queen.” The encore featured three numbers, confetti cannons and even more incredible costumes.
Director Dan Pacheco says, “We are incredibly proud to feature 38 actors and 13 student techs in this production.” Additionally, Espen Garner ’21 returned for the week to be the lighting designer on the production team which included Emma Chang, grade 12, as stage manager. Musical Director Lex Leigh led the band comprised of Adela Kwan, Chris Carbajal, Amber Lin (grade 8), Daniel Lyons (grade 9) and Preston Brinker (grade 12).
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