Mamma Mia: A Musical Review!

Photo by Angelina Tang

By Emma Wu

An amazing performance was put on by the Williamsville East High School Drama Club and Music Department from Thursday to Saturday, March 7-9. The cast and crew did a wonderful job with the chosen musical, Mamma Mia!. From actors to dancers to the pit and stage crew, everything was meticulously practiced and done to perfection.

The actors were absolutely amazing in their roles, which incorporated singing, dancing, and acting throughout the musical. Everyone had a wonderful performance that perfectly embodied the characters and their emotions through the backdrop of this touching story. They all had an amazing stage presence that seemed to fill the auditorium with energy, song, and story. The choreographies were eye-catching and mesmerizing to watch. They brought so much energy to the stage, hyping up the audience. Furthermore, the vocals of the musical were extremely impressive. Each singer was perfectly on the note and projected their voice for everyone to hear. They were incredible with their voices, bringing the energy or emotion that every song needed. Every number was a hit with the audience, bringing melodies and tunes to remember for years to come. The stage crew was just as important in their behind-the-scenes work, ensuring curtain calls, spotlights, and much more were done smoothly and without interruption. Lastly, the pit orchestra was spectacular with the accompanying soundtrack. They created a wonderful atmosphere and mood with their music, filling the audience’s head with many catchy–and some familiar!–songs. The entire arrangement and organization of the musical was done incredibly well with amazing performances from everyone in the Drama Club, making this musical a fond memory for everyone for years to come!

Mamma Mia was originally a musical based on beloved ABBA songs. ABBA was a Swedish pop supergroup that was composed of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The first letter of each of their names together are what composed the acronym, ABBA, that is remembered today. Here are some of their most well known hits: “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” “Lay All Your Love on Me,” “The Winner Takes It All,” and many more. Of course, all of the aforementioned songs were in Mamma Mia!. The musical was written by British playwright, Catherine Johnson, who worked with members of the band to incorporate their songs into a storyline. Many of their songs had theatrical potential with emotional lyrics and touching melodies. The show first premiered on April 6, 1999 at London’s West End and became the sixth longest-running show in West End history. The show further ran on Broadway for nearly 14 years, closing in September 2015, making it the ninth longest-running show in Broadway history.

This story is one of drama, humor, and love. It features a girl, Sophie, and her mother, Donna. Sophie is getting married and always had the dream of her father walking her down the aisle. However, she grew up alone with her mother, who was always tight-lipped about who her father was. Finding her mother’s diary, Sophie discovers three men that her mother wrote about: Sam Carmicheal, Bill Anderson, and Harry Bright, all of whom may be her potential father. She writes letters inviting them to the wedding, in anticipation of being able to identify her father and have him walk her down the aisle. Donna has struggled on her own for many years, raising a daughter and running a taverna by herself. When she sees all three men show up to the wedding, many of her past emotions catch up to her. Donna ends up confiding in her friends that she truly has no idea who fathered Sophie. The three men, themselves, had no idea about Sophie and had shown up under the assumption that Donna had invited them herself. Through frantic preparations for the wedding, Sophie meets with all three men and becomes more confused as to which is her true father. Each of the three men also believes that Sophie is their own daughter and are all determined to walk her down the aisle. When the wedding day comes about, Donna and Sophie have a heart to heart, spilling their secrets and bringing everything out into the light. Sophie and her fiance, Sky, realize that they have their entire lives ahead of them and choose not to get married at such a young age. Donna and Sam end up realizing that their feelings for each other are still strong, and Sam proposes to Donna during the wedding, thus bringing about a happy ending of love and hope for new beginnings.