Review: MAMMA MIA! at Plaza Theatrical Productions

The sparkling production runs at the Elmont Memorial Library Theatre from May 20th-June 4th, 2023!

By: May. 22, 2023
Review: MAMMA MIA! at Plaza Theatrical Productions
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MAMMA MIA, Plaza Theatrical’s latest venture, is a surefire hit. Directed by Kevin F. Harrington, the production is bursting at the seams with energy, talent, and vibrancy from the first note of the overture. 

Review: MAMMA MIA! at Plaza Theatrical Productions
Cindy Baker as "Donna"
with the company of MAMMA MIA
(Photo by Lisa Schindlar)

The incredible Cindy Baker shines in the role of “Donna Sheridan.” Baker had a plethora of electric moments, particularly “The Winner Takes It All.” Her voice soared throughout the theatre as Baker redefined the iconic eleven o’clock number. By the final button, she had garnered thunderous applause from the audience. Baker’s performance of “Slipping Through My Fingers” was intricately performed, and her choices were very clear and thoughtful. 

Abby Docherty plays “Sophie Sheridan” in this production, and she is a delight in the role. From her first entrance, Docherty possesses a voice reminiscent of a dream. A stand-out moment for her performance, of many, was “Thank You For The Music,” a song featuring “Sophie,” “Sam,” “Bill,” and “Harry.” Docherty’s melismas were perfectly placed, and it spoke of how the song lived within “Sophie.” Her dancing was nothing short of spectacular, and her connection to the world and to the other people within it left the audience speechless.

Review: MAMMA MIA! at Plaza Theatrical Productions
Abby Docherty as "Sophie" and
Mikey Marmann as "Sky"
(Photo by Lisa Schindlar)

Ashley North as “Tanya” and Katelyn Lauria as “Rosie” were true gifts to witness. Both displayed comic prowess and are true triple threats. North and Lauria play well off of eachother, reminiscent of a sketch on the Carol Burnett Show. Lauria’s voice was striking in “Chiquitita,” and she delighted in both “Dancing Queen,” and especially her final number “Take A Chance On Me.” North gives a stunning performance in “Does Your Mother Know,” as it showcases her amazing dance capabilities. As a trio, Baker, North and Lauria showed great stage presence in “Dancing Queen,” and set the theatre ablaze with “Super Trouper.” 

Review: MAMMA MIA! at Plaza Theatrical Productions
Katelyn Lauria as "Rosie," Cindy Baker as "Donna", Ashley North as "Tanya" and the company of MAMMA MIA!
(Photo by Lisa Schindlar)

Appearing as “Sophie’s” potential fathers are Anthony John Bourray as “Sam Carmichael,” Trent Taber as “Bill Austin,” and Chris Donovan as “Harry Bright.” All three of these performers play off of each other well, and are equally as spectacular on their own. For Bourray, a stand out moment was “SOS,” where his voice soared throughout the theatre and spun like a dream. Taber offered delightful charm as “Bill,” with “Take A Chance On Me” being a perfect number. Donovan sailed through “Our Last Summer,” with a voice that spun effortlessly.

Review: MAMMA MIA! at Plaza Theatrical Productions
Trent Taber as "Bill," Anthony John Bourray as "Sam"
and Chris Donovan as "Harry"
(Photo by Lisa Schindlar)

Playing “Sky,” “Sophie’s” betrothed, is Mikey Marmann. His performance is perfectly charming, complete with expert comic timing and an electric voice to boot. “Lay All Your Love On Me” was masterfully executed and showcased Marmann’s vocals incredibly. His connection to “Sophie” and to “Donna” was evident and it elevated his performance all the more. 

Rounding out the cast are Eriel Milan Brown as “Lisa,”  Anna Caccavaro as “Ali,” Gable Kinsman as “Eddie,” and Xavier McKnight as “Pepper.” Brown and Caccavaro brought an incomparable level of energy to their roles from the moment they stepped out onto the stage. They played very well off of one another, and their voices and dancing were truly incredible. Kinsman and McKnight played well off of one another, offering fantastic comic timing and incredible dancing. It MUST be noted, somewhere in the show, McKnight gave TEN toe-touch jumps in a row! Magnificent! Go see the show to find out where he does them.

Review: MAMMA MIA! at Plaza Theatrical Productions
Xavier McKnight as "Pepper"
(Photo by Lisa Schindlar)

The ensemble of this production was spectacular. Each one of them had exceptional dancing ability. “Does Your Mother Know” featured each of the ensemble members in all of their glory, complete with turns, jumps and other tricks. 

Antoinette DiPietropolo served as choreographer on this piece, and her choreography is bursting with energy and is completely dazzling. “Money, Money, Money” and “Mamma Mia!” were masterfully choreographed, and had the audience dancing in their seats. “Voulez-Vous” and “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” were mystifying in how they were choreographed and executed. 

Upon entry, the audience is greeted by an amazing set designed by Andrew Machovec, complete with a Greek taverna, with the iconic white facade and blue trim and door. It must be noted how exceptional the detail work was. There were hints of purple on the door to help accentuate the blue. The taverna is even accented with bougainvillea flowers, which are commonly found in Greece, and known for their symbolization of passion or peace. Given “Sophie’s” desire for finding out who her father really is, having the bougainvillea flowers on the taverna is a perfect choice to represent “Sophie’s” desire for inner peace brought by finding those answers. And the doc was a fantastic touch. 

Serving as music director and conductor was Brian Sweeney. The musicians on this piece were especially tight and played incredibly well together. The vocals on this show were especially well put-together, and only enhanced the world that the audience was being brought into. Musically, a stand-out, among many, was “Super Trouper.” The song had tight harmonies from the singers, and the musicians playing were absolutely dazzling with this number.

MAMMA MIA! was directed by Kevin F. Harrington. All of the staging and movement within the actors seemed perfectly organic, and aided perfectly in creating the world of the Summer Night Taverna, and telling the story of these wonderful characters. One particular scene that stuck out was the scene at the top of the second act with “Sophie” and “Donna.” Without divulging too much, the scene was perfectly vulnerable and really showed the meticulous work that was put into developing each of these characters. The staging really informed what was going on in the story at that point and allowed for the story to smoothly progress. Additionally, having certain sequences be dance sequences to keep the audience in the world of the play was especially great. 

It is necessary to note that during intermission, the audience was completely abuzz with excitement and energy over what they had just seen. Something truly magical is going on at the Elmont Library Theatre, you’ll be “feelin’ like a number one” at MAMMA MIA presented by Plaza Theatrical Productions. Get your tickets now!




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