By Alex Simmons
Get ready to go back to the 1970s and groove with the Springville-Griffith Institute High School Musical Society’s production of “Mamma Mia!” with performances beginning next weekend.
Inspired by the music of ABBA written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, the story follows a young woman named Sophie who is “commiting matrimony” at 20.
Rehearsals began in December with a cast of around 50 students. They have been working hard memorizing lines, learning complex dances and singing the popular songs these past few months to be able to produce an amazing performance for the community.
The whole story is based around Sophie, her mother, Donna, and her three possible dads, Sam Carmichael, Bill Austin and Harry Bright.
The search for Sophie’s biological father takes place on a Greek island paradise where she invites her mother’s “friends from the past” to her wedding without her knowing and expects to keep it a secret until Donna spots them.
Donna’s gal pals Rosie and Tanya, also friends from the olden days and members of Donna and the Dynamos, “the world’s first ever girl power band,” are with Donna on this journey.
Abby Stressinger, who plays Donna, has been doing musicals since 6th grade.
“Performing on the stage in the high school has always been fun and exciting for me,” she said.
The musical is set to the tunes of the Swedish pop group ABBA. You may be able to recognize certain songs like “Dancing Queen” or “Knowing Me, Knowing You.”
Abby said she grew up listening to songs by ABBA, so when she found out that “this year’s musical was ‘Mamma Mia!’ it was an added bonus, and I grew to love the characters and storyline.”
When asked what she likes most about this show, Abby said, “One of things I enjoy the most about the musical ‘Mamma Mia!’ this year is the memories and true friendships I am developing out of it.”
A lot of excitement is shared when getting ready for the show, but can also bring up some challenges.
“So much hard work and dedication goes into producing a musical each year, and sometimes the effort you have to put in can be a lot,” Abby explains. “One challenge I’ve faced is having to memorize my lines and know what I’m feeling, trying to say when I’m delivering them.”
Even when it gets down to “crunch time” doing a show at the Springville High School brings people together.
“Musical makes a family, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
My! My! How can you resist seeing this show!
Principal cast members include:
Sophie, Anna Lawton;
Sky, Jackson Richert;
Donna, Abby Stressinger;
Rosie, Claire Mariea;
Tanya, Gwen Freuhauf;
Sam Carmichael, Noah Koningisor;
Bill Austin, Mike Sobota;
Harry Bright, Ethan Keyser;
Ali, Alex Simmons;
Lisa, Maddy Safford;
Pepper, Topher Elkins; and
Eddie, Dustin Folts;
Performances of “Mamma Mia!” by the SGI Musical Society are scheduled for Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m.
Tickets will be $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors and are available on www.springvillegi.org.