July 2017

Mamma Mia! You Can Dance, You Can Jive

Author: Andrea Gannon

From the moment it opened in previews on June 14, audiences have been raving about Mamma Mia!, the gloriously fun summer production at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. And it’s no wonder given the energy, excitement and heart that this story, set in a Greek island paradise, encompasses. Put all those elements to the mood-boosting soundtrack of ABBA, and the result is pure summertime magic.
Most everyone knows the story; in fact, some are downright obsessed (you know who you are, dancing queens). But for those few who don’t…

It’s the tale of 20-year-old Sophie (Katie LaDuca) who, on the verge of her wedding to the handsome, oft-shirtless Skye (Nick Jones), wants her father to walk her down the aisle, but doesn’t know his identity. Sophie finds her mother’s old diary and reads entries which describe dates with three men (Sam Carmichael, Bill Austin and Harry Bright). Sophie believes one of these men is her father and, three months prior to the wedding, sends each an invitation to her wedding, surreptitiously written in the name of her mother, Donna (Gabrielle Mirabella).

And that’s just in the first few minutes of the show! Of course, the would-be dads (played by Sean McDermott, Peter Simon Hilton, and Jeff Applegate) arrive on the island.

Sophie’s search brings these three very different men from her mother’s past back to the island they had last visited 20 years ago. Her mom is undoubtedly surprised to see her exes, but has her two best friends nearby to encourage her to take a chance on love. Her gal-pals—one a femme fatale and the other a worldly Bohemian—are played by returning favorites Shannon Lee Jones and Kim Shriver.

Casey Colgan is at the helm of the show, marking his thirty-fifth show at the Arts Center. As usual, he’s created a thrill ride of a show. “I’m over the moon about this production,” he said. “It really takes you on a journey along with Sophie, and though the music of ABBA propels the plot in the most energetic, upbeat way, the story has so much heart. There’s some portion of the story that resonates deeply with everyone, and it’s not the same part for each person.”

The music is delightfully infectious, and you’ll not only want to dance, you’ll be singing and humming your faves all night long: “Honey, Honey,” “Dancing Queen,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Thank You for the Music,” “Waterloo,” “The Winner Takes It All,” and many more.

Nominated for five Tony Awards, Mamma Mia! is a story about love, but also the touching tale of a mother and daughter. Sung by a cast of magnificent voices, Mamma Mia! transports the audience from sweet and sentimental to laughter and pure joy!

Check out the Arts Center’s summer-fun smash hit: Mamma Mia!

Tickets through August 6 are $50 for adults and $41 for children. Get yours today by calling the Arts Center box office at (843) 842-ARTS (2787) or by visiting online at artshhi.com.

Fun Facts About the Arts Center’s Production of Mamma Mia!
• Over 100,000 rhinestones were used on the nine finale costumes.
• There are 400-plus lighting instruments in the show’s light plot.
• During the run of the show, it will take 400 pounds of dry ice to keep the fog rolling all summer long! Creating the fog effect for this one scene each night requires one fogger, one hazer, and two technicians, one for each machine.
• All the rock surfaces on the set are made of recycled material.
• Over four days of auditions, 400-plus actors auditioned for the 20 available roles.
• This is director Casey Colgan’s thirty-fifth show at the Arts Center.

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