NC Natives Bring MAMMA MIA! To The NC Theatre Stage

North Carolina Theatre, the region's premiere nonprofit professional theatre, is proud to announce Broadway star and Raleigh native Lauren Kennedy will star in the February production of Mamma Mia!. Directing the musical, playing February 12-17 at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, is another North Carolina native, NC Theatre's new producing artistic director, Eric Woodall.

The story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, creating an unforgettable show. A large cast, non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers combine to make a guaranteed smash. Featuring songs "Dancing Queen," "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!," Take a Chance on Me," and many more of ABBA's greatest hits.

Starring in the role of Donna is Kennedy, the former lead singer of Donna and the Dynamos and mother to bride-to-be, Sophie. Kennedy is the producing artistic director for Theatre Raleigh, where she has directed and starred in numerous productions. She is also known by Raleigh audiences for her 30-year association with NC Theatre where she starred as Eva in Evita, Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, Fantine in Les Misérables, and Diana in Next To Normal. She appeared on Broadway as The Lady of the Lake in Monty Python's Spamalot, Fantine in Les Misérables, Daisy Hilton in Side Show, Sunset Boulevard (original cast) and Nellie Forbush in South Pacific at The Royal National Theatre in London.

Benson, NC native Woodall, has a deep connection with this show and will bring that, as well as his vast directing and casting experience when he takes the helm of Mamma Mia! in February. Woodall served as the Resident Director of the Broadway, Las Vegas, and National touring companies of Mamma Mia!. In addition to his NC Theatre directorial credits including Gypsy, Mary Poppins, Jesus Christ Superstar, Steel Magnolias, and more, Woodall has worked locally in the Triangle directing for theatre's like Theatre Raleigh and Playmakers Repertory as well as traveled the country putting his spin on shows like West Side Story, Big River, and On Golden Pond at Casa Mañana in Fort Worth, Texas and Amadeus at the Memphis Playhouse on the Square. Prior to joining NC Theatre full time in November as producing artistic director he spent 16 years in New York City working as one of the top casting directors at Tara Rubin Casting.

"Mamma Mia! is such a special show to me, and I am thrilled to be directing NC Theatre's production as the new producing artistic director," said Woodall. "I've been personally and professionally connected to this show for so many years as the Broadway Casting Director and Resident Director. I look forward to incorporating my knowledge and experience into NC Theatre's production. Our incredible cast is a mixture of Raleigh's incredible, local talent with some of "Broadway's best" from New York City. Audiences should be excited to see new styles of choreography to the classic ABBA songs they know and love, creative casting, and more in February! Come ready to dance in the aisles with us!"

ABBA's hits tell the hilarious story of a young woman's search for her birth father. This sunny and funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter'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 ago. Directed by Eric Woodall and Choreographed by Monica Kapoor, Mamma Mia! opens Tuesday, Feb. 12 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 17 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Visit to purchase tickets or call (919) 831-6941. For groups of 10 or more, call (919) 831-6941 x6949.

Established in 1984, North Carolina Theatre is Raleigh's premier, non-profit professional regional theatre. With its successful formula of producing top quality musicals with top national performers and local talent, North Carolina Theatre has been instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Raleigh over the years. Through its conservatory, it has provided exceptional arts training to hundreds of local youth. By offering broad access to live theatre, while strengthening economic growth, the organization continues to fortify the cultural vitality of the region. North Carolina Theatre is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission.

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