BWW Review: MAMMA MIA! at St. Dunstan's Will Have You Dancing In Your Seat!
There is nothing quite like watching live theatre performed outside in a Greek theater on a beautiful summer night in Michigan. Mamma Mia!, running now through June 15th at St. Dunstan's Theatre in Bloomfield Hills, will have you singing and dancing in your seat. Mamma Mia! is the sunny and funny tale of young Sophie's search for her birth father. The story unfolds on a Greek island paradise on the eve of her wedding. Sophie's quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years earlier. Incorporating the songs made famous by Swedish supergroup ABBA, Mamma Mia! is a fun and uplifting story that will be sure to keep you entertained.
St. Dunstan's production of Mamma Mia! is incredibly entertaining and left me wanting more. Stephanie Peltier and Sarah Kwas' choreography in the show was brilliant. Standout dance numbers in the show include the Act One ending "Volulez Vue", as well as "Money, Money, Money". In addition to the standout choreography, the leads displayed incredibly strong vocal range throughout the course of a show that is very vocally demanding.
Analisa Guido makes the role of Sophie Sheridan all her own, through her unique acting ability and superb vocal range. To sing the music of ABBA well, you must have an innate vocal ability to shift from soft harmonies to powerful verses. Her strong voice shines in "I Have A Dream" and "The Name of The Game". Guido sets the bar very high in terms of leading ladies and I am looking forward to seeing her perform more in the future.
Dean Gaboury's performance as Sam Carmichael, one of Sophie's alleged fathers, is outstanding. He really shines in the second act, during his thought-provoking rendition of "Knowing Me, Knowing You". Gaboury has strong mannerisms in key moments and connects exceptionally well with Sophie and Donna.
Patty Ward is very protective, confident, and strong-willed as Sophie's mother, Donna. Her duet with Sophie, "Slipping Through My Fingers", shines in a very crucial moment during the second act. As she helps Sophie get dressed on her wedding day, she reflects on her role as a mother and how her life will change as she prepares to give Sophie away. This is a relatable moment for every mother in the audience, and many of the audience members near me were brought to tears during this song.
The entire ensemble of the show works very cohesively together and adds a special flavor to the show. I was very impressed with the fluidity of the large ensemble dance numbers. I would recommend Mamma Mia! at St. Dunstan's Theatre for anybody who is a fan of ABBA's music and is looking for a professional quality and unique theatre experience in Metro Detroit.
Mamma Mia! runs through June 15th at St. Dunstan's Theatre in Bloomfield Hills. All shows begin at 8:00 p.m, Tickets are $20 each for adults and $18 each for students and seniors. St. Dunstan's is located at 400 Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Hills. To order tickets, or for more information, visit www.StDunstansTheatre.com or call 1-844-DUNSTAN (1-844-386-7826).
*Show information courtesy of St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild.