Suze Diaz –As the summer winds down to make way for the upcoming fall season, there’s no reason why fun has to end! The Star Theatre Oceanside has the perfect solution to enjoy one last hurrah with “Mamma Mia!” Originally conceived by Judy Craymer and written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, the musical is based on songs from the beloved 70’s pop group ABBA. With music and lyrics by former band members, Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus, this fun loving, upbeat, charming musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI ~ www.MTIShows.com). “Mamma Mia!” is Broadway’s ninth longest-running show in its history. First debuted on a London stage in 1999 and a film adaptation in 2008, the storyline surrounds young Sophie Sheridan who is soon to be married and tells her best girlfriends/bridesmaids that she found her mother’s diary with detailed accounts of three romantic summertime flings during a coincidental period in which Sophie was conceived. She reveals that she secretly invited the three gentlemen to their Greek island resort without her mother Donna knowing, in hopes of finding out which one is her father and live out her dream of having him give her away at her wedding. The three possible fathers respond by arriving and once Donna realizes all three are staying for the wedding, the musical bedlam begins!
With each show production, The Star Theatre Company partners with an organization that bring awareness to issues in the community and gives support by providing strong solutions. The 501(c)(3) agency, Doors of Change™, has been a significant resource since 2001 in transforming the lives of homeless youth by placing them in long-term, safe housing. Using the power of music and art as a way to positively engage young people living on the streets, opportunities are created to help them visualize a future brimming with possibilities. Their “Concert of Hope” will be performed at Spreckles Theatre on two dates featuring 3-time Grammy winner Los Lobos (at the January 18, 2020 show) and 4-time Grammy winner Aaron Neville (at the March 14, 2020 show). Many sponsorship options are available for those who want to assist in breaking the cycle of youth homelessness. One of the sponsorship ideas that The Star Theatre participates is in collecting backpacks filled with toiletries and other items to help youths with their personal needs, sleeping bags and grocery store gift cards.
A full house of excited patrons filled the venue, enjoying the many perks that are synonymous with Opening Night such as mouthwatering cupcakes, complimentary coffee, a well-donated Opportunity Raffle table, and a delicious array of Mediterranean appetizers generously provided by this particular showrun sponsor, Santosha Nutrition. “Mamma Mia” and ABBA fans alike will be thrilled to know that the fantastic cast, chorus and ensemble are on point vocally for all beloved songs including fan favorites “Mamma Mia”, “Dancing Queen”, “Voulez Vous” and “Waterloo”.
As bright, loving and determined Sophie Sheridan, Eden Young is wonderfully spirited in her performance. Her beautifully sweet and strong vocals give her equal credibility to the talented vocals of Amanda Seyfried in the film adaptations. With her partners-in-crime Lisa (Sarah Perkins) and Ali (Annabelle Chambers), their rendition of “Honey, Honey” is a delight. Heather Schulz as the enterprising and fiercely independent Donna Sheridan is superb. With Donna’s two old friends, the wildly flirtatious Tanya Cresham-Leigh (Sandra Kopitzke) and the free-spirited and funny Rosie Mulligan (Holly Shockley), the trio bring back good times performing as their pop group, “Donna and the Dynamos”. The three gentlemen who play Sophie’s potential father choices are endearing and perfectly cast: David Schulz as composed architect Sam Carmichael, Chris Hoolihan as sweet, respected banker Harry Bright and Ty Young as comedic travel writer Bill Austin. One highlights of the show is the comedic musical number “Take A Chance On Me”, hilariously and brilliantly performed by Rosie (Holly Shockley) and Bill (Ty Young). Cole Studebaker as Sophie’s studly fiancé with energetic, fun-loving buddies Pepper (Jonathon Mayhew) and Eddie (Drake Ardon) round out this purely phenomenal and incredibly talented cast that highly deserved the adulation at the end of the show.
Final weekend showdates and times for “Mamma Mia”:
- Friday, September 27 @ 7:30 PM
- Saturday, September 28 @ 2:00 PM
- Saturday, September 28 @ 7:30 PM
- Sunday, September 29 @ 2:00 PM
Tickets can be bought online at https://www.startheatreco.com/ or at the box office, call 760-721-9983
For more information on Doors of Change’s “Concert of Hope”, please visit https://doorsofchange.org/
Catch a glimpse of the upcoming Star Theatre line up at https://www.startheatreco.com/