Auditions planned for ‘Mamma Mia’

Hamilton-Gibson Productions is holding open auditions for “Mamma Mia” on April 24 and 25, and on April 28. “It’s rare that a show has this much early buzz, but if we had a nickel for every time someone mentioned that they are planning to audition for it we wouldn’t need sponsors,” said Director Thomas Putnam.

In “Mamma Mia!” Sophie lives on a small Greek island and dreams of her perfect wedding, including her father giving her away. The problem? Sophie doesn’t know who he is. Her mother Donna, the former lead singer of the 1970s pop group Donna and the Dynamos, refuses to talk about the past, so Sophie decides to take matters into her own hands. Sneaking a peek in her mother’s old diaries, she discovers three possible fathers: Sam, Bill, and Harry. She secretly invites all three to the wedding, convinced that she’ll know her father when she sees him. But when all three turn up, it is not as clear as she thought. 

This jukebox musical, written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, is told through the legendary songs of ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. Andersson, Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad formed ABBA in 1972 in Stockholm, Sweden. This pop group was active until 1982, topping the charts again and again. The title of the musical is taken from the group’s 1975 chart-topper “Mamma Mia.”

The stage show premiered at the Prince Edward Theatre in London on April 6, 1999 and debuted in the United States at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, California on Nov. 17, 2000. A film adaptation of “Mamma Mia!” was released on July 18, 2008 and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” on July 20, 2018 with the plot set after the events of “Mamma Mia!” The second film included flashbacks to 1979 when Donna Sheridan first arrived on the island of Kalokairi and her first meetings with her daughter Sophie’s three possible fathers. 

Auditions will be at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, April 24 and 25 and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 28 in the Gallery at the Warehouse Theatre at 3 Central Ave. in Wellsboro.

The musical is in two acts and is rated PG13. The characters include: Sophie Sheridan, age 20 to 25, a soprano, mezzo-soprano; Sophie’s mother, Donna Sheridan, age 40 to 50, a mezzo-soprano, alto; the three men, all age 40 to 50 who may be Sophie’s father, baritones Sam Carmichael and Bill Austin and tenor, baritone Harry Bright; Sophie’s fiancé Sky, age 20 to 30, tenor, baritone; Donna’s friends who performed with her as The Dynamos, both ages 40 to 50, mezzo-soprano, alto Tanya Cresham-Leigh and alto Rosie Mulligan; Sophie’s friends both ages 20 to 25, mezzo-sopranos Lisa and Ali; and Pepper, a barman at Taverna, age 20 to 25, a tenor, baritone.

“In addition to the principal characters, we are looking for a minimum of 10 men and 10 women for the chorus,” said Putnam. They will portray islanders, those who work at Donna’s and wedding guests. Being sought are male and female adults and mature high school students who can sing and dance. “There is a considerable amount of dancing so movement ability will be part of the audition,” Putnam added.

A small pit orchestra with two or three keyboards, percussion and bass will provide accompaniment.

Performances will be in Straughn Auditorium on the Mansfield University campus at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 12, Saturdays, July 13 and 20, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 21. Sponsors are Elite Therapy, Chris Jones and Drs. Maria Cruz and Edgar Wong. 

For more information about the auditions, tickets or a FlexPass, call (570) 724-2079 or email hamgib@gmail.com.

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