MANCHESTER, NH – Among the world’s universal truths, there is one thing we should all be able to agree on: ABBA rules! Which is why “Mama Mia” will no doubt be bringing the house down at the Palace Theatre when it debuts this weekend.
The show’s run was extended just a few weeks into ticket sales to meet the demand, not surprising to Rebecca Mason-Wygal, who plays Donna in the show.
“This is definitely going to be a blockbuster for the Palace. It ran on broadway for 15 years, and I got to tour around country for three years as understudy for Donna on that tour. To own the part in this show is a cool new opportunity for me,” says Mason-Wygal.
“Mama Mia” is a show about family, friendship and love, set to music by the pop-group ABBA. It’s the story of a young woman, Sophie, about to be married when she discovers that any one of three men could be her father. She invites all three to the wedding without telling her mother, Donna, who was once the lead singer of Donna and the Dynamos. In the meantime, Donna has invited her backup singers, Rosie and Tanya.
“Mama Mia,” the musical spawned two motion pictures – the latest of which, Mama Mia: Here We Go Again,” is due out this summer, starring Cher, which is great timing for the Palace production, says Lara Hayhurst, who is playing Tanya, “the sexy friend,” in the production.
“So if people want to have a wonderful excuse to catch up and refresh on the story, they should come out to the Palace and do it live,” sayd Hayhurst.
Megan Quinn, who plays Rosie, “the sassy best friend,” says the rehearsal process has been high-speed – just two weeks for the cast to solidify.
“It’s a quick and crazy process,” says Quinn, who doubles as Company Manager and Youth Theatre Administrator at the Palace
But for the three actresses, playing besties has been a blast.
“We have a big chunk of stage time where we’re cheering each other up and singing classic ABBA songs. It’s a lot of work, but mostly, it’s a lot of fun,” Quinn says.
Lara Hayhurst, who plays Tanya, “the sexy friend,” describes her characters as the “Samantha” (Sex in the City reference) of the group.
“She’s had a million husbands, but clearly her gals come first all the time,” says Hayhurst.
She says she loves the message of the musical, as well.
“It’s something that touches my heart, because we don’t really find out who Sophie’s dad is, so to me it’s a beautiful message that the dads offer – even if I get one-third of this amazing child, it’s about the family you create. As theater artists, we are nomadic and often create our own families along the way. So for me, the message is that you don’t have to be related to someone be feel like family,” Hayhurst says.
For those who are most familiar with the big screen version of the show, the stage play follows the same format, says Mason-Wygal.
“The movie is pretty well structured, but on stage you get that live energy you can’t get from a movie, and that’s what we’re going to bring. ‘Mama Mia’ nails that throughout the show, and the energy never lets up,” Mason-Wygal says.
“There’s lots of spandex and Speedos,” adds Quinn. “And the girls are great in silver lame.”
The Palace Theater is located at 80 Hanover Street. Click here now to reserve the best seat in the house.
Tickets: Children (6-12):$25 Adults:$39-$46
(Tickets for shows April 26 – May 6 are $30 for children (6-12) and $44-$51 for adults)
Show dates and times:
Friday April 6, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday April 7, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday April 7, 2018 2 p.m.
Sunday April 8, 2018 2 p.m.
Friday April 13, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday April 14, 2018 2 p.m.
Saturday April 14, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Sunday April 15, 2018 2 p.m.
Friday April 20, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday April 21, 2018 2 p.m.
Saturday April 21, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Sunday April 22, 2018 2 p.m.
Thursday April 26, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Friday April 27, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday April 28, 2018 2 p.m.
Saturday April 28, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Sunday April 29, 2018 2 p.m.
Friday May 4, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday May 5, 2018 2 p.m.
Saturday May 5, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Sunday May 6, 2018 2 p.m.