Students ready to present energetic ‘Mamma Mia!’

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Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Some members of the cast of Southeastern High School’s production of “Mamma Mia!” break from rehearsal for a photo opportunity: (from left) Jakob Maynard, Olivia Bauer, Nathan Roark, Megan Segrest, Eli Johnson, Mozie VanRaaij, Brady Bair and Cordelia Rice.

(Posted Feb. 28, 2019)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

One would think seven snow days would put a crimp in preparations for a high school musical production, but Laura Madden isn’t sweating it much.

“I’m not worried about the kids. They’ve really been working hard and learning their stuff. It’s the set that we’re behind on,” she said.

Madden, an art teacher, and co-director Kelly Sheeley, a choir teacher, know everything will be ready to go come showtime.

The curtain goes up on Southeastern High School’s production of “Mamma Mia!” at 7 p.m. March 8 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. March 9. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students ages 18 and younger. They can be ordered ahead by calling the high school, (937) 462-8308 or purchased at the door.

The live performance rights to “Mamma Mia!” became available last year to schools and amateur theater groups. The musical comedy, featuring songs from the Swedish pop group, ABBA, ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2015. Madden and Sheeley jumped at the chance to perform the show.

“We love the music and thought the kids would really enjoy the show. We haven’t done a ‘70s vibe before. We’ve done ‘50s and ‘80s,” Madden said.

The story line revolves around Sophie Sheridan (played by freshman Cordelia Rice) and her mother, Donna (junior Megan Segrest). Sophie is getting married and finds in her mom’s diary the name of three men who could be her father–Bill Austin (sophomore Jakob Maynard), Harry Bright (senior Alejandro Neave) and Sam Carmichael (senior Nathan Roark).

Sophie sends wedding invitations to all three hoping to find out who her father is, but doesn’t tell her mom or her fiance, Sky (junior Brady Bair), what she has done. All three men show up, all three want to give her away, and no one, including Donna, is sure which one is Sophie’s father.

Meanwhile, Donna invites her old friends, Rosie (junior Olivia Bauer) and Tanya (junior Mozie VanRaaij), with whom she once performed as “Donna and The Dynamos.”

The story line provides the perfect set-up to showcase songs from ABBA’s trove of hits. Donna and her friends sing and dance to “Dancing Queen.” The boys’ chorus dances in flippers and masks to “Lay All Your Love on Me.” Donna and Sam share a special moment in “SOS.” Rosie throws herself at Bill while singing, “Take a Chance on Me.”

Madden is excited not only about the show’s music and the students’ abilities to perform it, but also about the fact that it will be piped through the new sound system the school district purchased for the auditorium this year.

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