BWW Review: MAMMA MIA by Dream Theatre Productions Now Thrilling Audiences at UCPAC
Mamma Mia brought the audience to their feet at the opening night performance on Friday at the Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC). Produced by Dream Theatre Productions, the lavish performance of the hit Broadway musical is one of the best you will see with its stunningly talented cast. Directed by Bernard J. Solomon with musical direction by Ben McNaboe, the original Broadway choreography is by Anthony Van Laast with additional choreography by Alec Varcas. Shake off the cold and head to UCPAC's Main Stage where this charming story unfolds on an island in sunny Greece. Get your tickets. It will only be on performed on Saturday, 3/24 and Sunday, 3/25.
Mamma Mia premiered on London's West End in 1999. It opened on Broadway in 2001 and was performed 5,773 times before closing in 2015. Ever popular, the show's music is based on songs by ABBA. The book is by Catherine Johnson with music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and some songs by Stig Anderson.
In Mamma Mia, 20-year old Sophie Sheridan is going to be married to her fiancé, Sky and she is on a mission to discover who her father is. Her mother, Donna, a local tavern owner, has raised Sophie as a single mother. When Sophie finds her mother's old diary, she learns that Donna had three love affairs, and the identity of her father is still a mystery. Sophie invites all three of her mother's former lovers to her wedding causing complications and confrontations. And when Donna's good friends, Rosie and Tanya show up, the past meets present in a hilarious and touching tale.
Starring in the show are accomplished actors that include Gabrielle Mirabella as Donna Sheridan; Kim Shriver as Tanya; Jennifer Cody as Rosie; Eric Van Tielen as Harry Bright; Adam Kaster as Bill Austin; and Michael Hunsaker as Sam Carmichael. Also leading the cast is Stephanie Anne Christian as Sophie along with Nathaniel Dolquist as Sky. Rounding out the company is Katie Claire McGrath as Ali; Rachel Ann Raeon as Lisa; Brett Hennessey Jones as Pepper; Danny Sims as Eddie; and Alex Tordi as Father Alexandrios.
The Ensemble includes Brandon Arias, Aziza Calahan, Amanda Chiappetta, Nicole Gidish, Kyle Javon, Ali Kerner, Jillian Mauro, Eden Mendez, Jennifer Moore, T.J. Newton, Albert Olszewski, Andre Santiago, Vanessa Sierra, Kevin M. Taylor, Alex Tordi, and Zoey Aliah Woody.
The show's score is brilliantly performed by the Dream Theatre cast with excellent vocals and clever choreographies. You'll thrill to numbers that include "Chiquitita," "Voulez-Vous," "Knowing Me, Knowing You," "The Winner Takes it All," "Dancing Queen," "Super Trooper," and the title song, "Mamma Mia."
The Creative Team has brought Mamma Mia to life on stage with lighting design by Chris Kolwicz; scenic design by Mark Thompson; sound design by Stephen Tolve; wig and hair design by Derek Alfano; make-up design by Jillian Burnett; Properties by Liz Jeffrey. Orchestrations are by Benny Anderson; Arrangements are by Martin Koch; Costume Supervisor is Pam Christian; Production Stage Manager is Jackie Mariani; Assistant Choreographer is Brett Hennessey Jones; and the Assistant Director is Robert Snyder IV.
We like the mission of Dream Theatre Productions. They are committed to making top-notch and affordable professional theatre available to New Jersey audiences. With just a few performances remaining at UCPAC, we suggest you include Mamma Mia in your weekend plans. It's a vibrant, enthralling production that shouldn't be missed.
To learn more about Dream Theatre and their upcoming productions, visit: https://dreamtheaterproductions.org/. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Union County Performing Arts Center is located in the heart of Rahway New Jersey with convenient parking and mass transit options available. For more information and ticketing for Mamma Mia, visit: http://www.ucpac.org/event/92870bbd4699cad8dfed6a522f641a78.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dream Theatre Productions