Erie Playhouse presents ‘Mamma Mia’


staff writer

A trip to Greece and a big white wedding can definitely help anyone escape the cold chills that have come to Erie.
The Erie Playhouse performed “Mamma Mia” this past weekend, introducing Erie to its newly renovated theater and opening its 101st season.
“Mamma Mia” follows young Sophie, played by Reagan Kennedy, on the eve of her wedding after she sneakily invited three strangers to the island, hoping one of them is her father and can walk her down the aisle.
The arrival of these men sends Sophie’s mother, Donna, played by Linda Wingerter, into high stress mode.
With the help of Donna and Sophie’s friends, and some delightfully upbeat ABBA songs, the chaos and confusion turn into a lovely ceremony — with a surprise twist of course.
“Mamma Mia” is an adaptation of some of the Swedish pop group, ABBA’s, biggest hits including; “Dancing Queen,” “Super Trouper” and, of course, “Mamma Mia.”
Notably the best vocalist was the lead, Kennedy, whose soft voice delicately carried each light note. Despite the vocal talents of the cast, however, a few songs felt as if they were shoved into the story. Often there were scenes where vocal numbers just occurred out of the blue, when really some simple dialogue could have saved all the characters some time.
In addition, certain songs did not fit the circumstance that the characters were going through. Particularly, the moment Sophie confronts one of her possible fathers, Bill, she sings “Name of the Game.”
While the audience understands she’s trying to ask if Bill is her dad, the lyrics to the song sound more like she’s asking if Bill is in love with her.
The set was beautifully decorated with large stucco walls and accents of ocean blue to create a satisfying island vibe.
The lighting provided a natural look of sunshine to the stage, though some added lighting could have been used to excite some of the dance numbers.
Overall, “Mamma Mia” was a refreshing bit of warmth for this cold November month.
The classic ABBA songs will make you sway and sing along, while the story will keep you entertained and jealous you’re not on a Greek island.
The Erie Playhouse will continue to run “Mamma Mia” until its final performance at 2 p.m. Sunday.

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