BWW Review: MAMMA MIA! at The Naples Players is Fabulously Fun!
MAMMA MIA! at The Naples Players Sugden Community Theatre, directed and choreographed by Dawn Lebrecht Fornara, brings all the joy of MAMMA MIA! to life in a fantastic and fun production.
Erica Sample plays Sophie, and I really enjoyed her portrayal. She had the perfect lighthearted optimism of the character while also showing Sophie's internal struggles as she tries to figure out not only who her dad is, but also who she is. Her vocals were also incredibly strong. Mary Anne McAvoy McKerrow plays Donna, and she was just as fantastic. She flawlessly showcased Donna's spunk and independence as a few certain visitors from her past arrive for Sophie's wedding.
Sophie's three possible dads, Sam, Harry, and Bill, are played by Eric Bohus, James Little, and John McKerrow, respectively. McKerrow's Bill was a lot of fun, and I really liked seeing him interact with Sample's Sophie. Little also did a great job as the more serious, though perhaps a bit wild, Harry. Bohus's Sam reminded me a lot of Pierce Brosnan's portrayal of Sam in the film version of the musical, slightly prosaic. Sky, Sophie's fiance, is played by Adam Fasano, and I appreciated that you could evidently see his hesitation about getting married.
Rosie is played by Kristin Cassidy and Tanya by Debi Guthery, and these two ladies were fabulous. They were hilarious, and I, of course, loved seeing them as part of "Donna and the Dynamos."
One thing I found especially unique about this production is that rather than having vocal tracks play during certain numbers (which is common in productions of MAMMA MIA!), The Naples Players had an "ABBA Booth Chorus," a number of people who sang background vocals from a booth live during the show. I thought this was a very nice touch, and it really did add something special to the show. I also thought the whole ensemble of this production was truly wonderful. They kept high energy throughout the production and made it a thoroughly enjoyable show. Charles Fornara, the Music Director and Conductor for this production, did an excellent job of working with the familiar music of ABBA to make it sound better than ever with this superb cast.
I would absolutely recommend checking out MAMMA MIA! at The Naples Players. I promise by the end of the show, you'll be dancing, jiving, and having the time of your life along with the cast.
MAMMA MIA! is playing at The Naples Players Sugden Community Theatre now through July 28, Wednesdays through Sundays. Tickets for MAMMA MIA! are $45 and on sale now. For tickets, stop by The Sugden Community Theatre, 701 Fifth Ave. S., Naples, FL, call (239) 263-7990, or check out their website, www.naplesplayers.org.