Theatre performances returned to Boyertown High School’s stage for the production of “Mamma Mia!” June 29 to July 8.
The cast featured 33 students in grades 9-12 and two alumni who returned to perform due to losing the show last year during the pandemic. An on-stage orchestra consisted of community members, teachers and students, led by Christopher Cinquini.
“Mamma Mia was chosen three years ago because we knew our audience would love the music of ABBA. We thought the music would get everyone up on their feet and singing along,” said directors John Hazel and Jeffrey Brunner. “That’s exactly the response we received. People flocked to the show because they are ready to start to feel normal again. This musical makes you feeling happy, and we think it was a great way to bring back musicals to Boyertown.”
This show was three years in the making from the original planning to the show closing. The production was two weeks away from opening before COVID-19 shutdown schools.
“The set and costumes sat untouched for 14 months, and finally we made it a priority to get the show up and running when it was safe,” said Hazel and Brunner. “With only half the cast returning, we had to recast the show, and spent five weeks in the summer relearning everything. Only two cast members stayed in their same roles from the previous year. It was starting from scratch.”
Even when it was safe to start performing indoors again, they still had COVID restrictions implemented up until the week of the show.
"We added more performances and restricted the number of audience members so people could spread out,” said the directors.
Even though the students did prepare the show to perform masked, CDC guidelines changed to allow them to perform unmasked.
“The students are so excited to perform this show six times. This was no small task. With the limitations on only being able to rehearse Monday through Thursdays for four weeks, we had to push the students to learn an entire musical in less than half the time we typically produce a show,” said the directors. “The kids worked diligently to learn their songs, dance numbers, and lines. This was a test of diligence, and they all exceeded all expectations.”
Centered around ABBA’s greatest hits, “Mamma Mia!” took the audience on a wild adventure when bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan (Sydney Kuszyk) invites her three possible dads Sam (Jared Drabick), Bill (Cameron Gorman) and Harry (Jack Burrell) to give her away at her wedding.
Sophie and her two best friends, Ali and Lisa (Grace Major and Elena Gehret) gossip about what she found in her mother’s diary about who her father may be. Later, Sophie’s mom Donna Sheridan (Molly Herman) and her two best friends Tanya (Olivia Helmer) and Rosie (Makenna Maxymillian) perform as Donna and the Dynamos at the local club for Sophie’s bachelorette party. Sky (Anthony Bartolucci), Sophie’s fiancé, and his two best friends, Eddie (Nate Ansu) and Pepper (Jake Moser), join the party. As the wedding nears, Donna talks with each of the dads and slowly begins to understand their actions and forgives them.
Sophie ends up not getting married, and Donna finds out that her first-love Sam was the one she was meant to be with and marries him spontaneously.
“We look forward to many more shows at Boyertown,” said Hazel and Brunner. “We are so grateful for the community to trust us to get the show back up and running. We are only funded by ticket sales, so there was a time where we thought we wouldn’t financially be able to keep the show going. Now that we are running again, the community has come out to show their full support to see these students perform at their best. We look forward to March 31 to April 3 when we present another huge production for our community.”
Boyertown’s 2022 show will be announced by fall 2021.