BWW Special: 13 Years Later with the Women of MAMMA MIA!
This Monday get ready to break out your dancing shoes, as cast members from the Original Toronto Production of MAMMA MIA! reunite for a one-night only benefit in support of FIFE HOUSE. They are a not for profit organization that seeks to provide secure and affordable supportive housing and support services for persons living with HIV/AIDS.
The event will feature none other than Louise Pitre in the lead role of 'Donna', one in which she originated here in Toronto and then later took to the Great White Way. She will be joined by a group of her fellow cast mates to celebrate the music of ABBA and the success of MAMMA MIA, as well as to raise a toast to the great work that FIFE HOUSE does in our community. Joining her will be Adam Brazier (Sky), Gabrielle Jones (Rosie), David Keeley (Sam), Julie Martell (Sophie), Tamara Bernier (Tanya) and Shawn Wright (Bill).
There's still time to get your tickets for the gala performance tonight where you can experience this special look back at the smash-hit musical MAMMA MIA! Meanwhile, BWW is thrilled to wrap up its coverage with a feature on the women of the show, as Louise Pitre (Donna), Tamara Bernier (Tanya), Gabrielle Jones (Rosie) and Tina Maddigan (who is not joining the group tonight but generously shared her MAMMA MIA! memories all the same) talk about their favourite MAMMA MIA! memories:
What was your favourite memory of your time in Mamma Mia?
TB: One matinee, I was making my first entrance in the show coming down the jetty steps that led to the taverna. My high heel got caught and I went ass-over-teakettle - literally somersaulting down the stairs to center stage. It all happened in slow-motion. But I bounced up with my next line: "How much further in these stinking stilettos?" The audience roared. They thought it was part of the show. I booked a physio appointment as soon as I got offstage. But we all laughed ourselves silly through the entire first scene. Didn't feel a thing until the evening show!
ALSO, during a show just before Christmas, our Sky, who enters the first scene later than the rest of us, was upstairs at the Royal Alex, decorating the fourth floor for our after-show Xmas party. He must have gotten pre-occupied with decorating because he completely missed his cue... said he heard it while he was still on the fourth floor. What followed onstage while we waited for him was a series of hilarious improvs - Donna talked about the boats in the harbour, Sophie talked about her beautiful wedding dress, I asked the young boys at the taverna for a drink! All the while, we could hear Sky bounding down the steps - five at a time - until he finally made his entrance onstage, so out of breath he couldn't speak. "Anyway, that's my boat out there!" Camilla Scott said. We laughed about that for days too.
LP: For me it was doing the sitzprobe at the Royal Alex, that was when Benny and Bjorn heard us for the first time. Benny came up to me afterwards and told me that he had never heard "The Winner Takes it All" sung the way he intended - as a French chanson! Thrilling for me!
GJ: My favourite memory of my time in Mamma Mia was during our Sitzprobe (first rehearsal with the Band). We had worked our way to the very end of the show and were just about to go into the intro for "Waterloo", when Benny Andersson HIMSELF got up and took our musical director's place at the keyboard and proceeded to play through the number. We sprang to our feet en masse and SCREAMED with joy! Most of us were so excited we even forgot to sing! Absolutely electrifying moment!
TM: Choosing just one Mamma Mia memory is almost impossible! Some of the most memorable times of my life were shared with the cast and crew of this show. Getting the initial call that I would join the Toronto company was a highlight I will never forget. Soon thereafter I had a brand new Mamma Mia family and I was sitting in a sitzprobe watching Benny Anderson rock it out on the keyboards. That I will never forget.