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BWW Feature: MAMMA MIA at Cowley College, Robert Brown Theatre

BWW Feature: MAMMA MIA at Cowley College, Robert Brown Theatre

Becoming the first college in the state of Kansas to get the rights to perform Mamma Mia!, Cowley College's Visual and Performing Arts Department will offer audiences four opportunities to catch the musical March 28-30 at the Robert Brown Theatre in Arkansas City, Kansas.

"To be the first college in Kansas to have the rights to Mamma Mia! Speaks to Cowley and its commitment to produce the newest stuff coming out," Cowley College theatre director Nick Albrecht said.

The musical will be performed each night at 7:30 p.m. with a special 2:30 performance on Saturday, March 30.

The story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. A mother, a daughter, three possible dads, and a trip down the aisle audiences will never forget. 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.

"It's fun to be able to introduce the kids to the music of ABBA," Albrecht said. "To work with the storyline and plot on top of that is really interesting."

Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. The title of the musical is taken from the group's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia".

The musical includes such hits as "Super Trouper", "Lay All Your Love on Me", "Dancing Queen", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Take a Chance on Me", "Thank You for the Music", "Money, Money, Money", "The Winner Takes It All", "Voulez-Vous", "SOS" and the title track. Over 60 million people have seen the show, which has grossed $2 billion worldwide since its 1999 debut.

A film adaptation starring Meryl Streep was released in July 2008 and the sequel was released in July 2018.

Along with Albrecht, Lindsay Allen will serve as the musical director and be one of four keyboardists, Steve Butler will also perform on keyboard, Evan Ricker will conduct the instrumental music, John Rohr will handle set design, and Kristen Boxman is the choreographer.

"It is nice to have other people involved in the process to collaborate to make this happen," Albrecht said.

The musical will feature five pit singers for ensemble numbers as well as a nine-piece band.

More than 65 individuals auditioned for the 32-person production which is made up of Cowley students, Arkansas City High School students, and community members.

"I would tell people to be prepared for fun music and a little bit of magic," Albrecht said. "We have mixed in Greek gods throughout the show to make it even more interesting."

Tickets are available at or from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Visual and Performing Arts Department office located on the lower level of the Brown Center, Room 100. The phone number to purchase tickets is 620-441-5223.

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From This Author Paula Makar