After musical hiatus, GM hits the stage with ABBA hit ‘Mamma Mia!’

By Basil MacDonald

Green Mountain Union High School presents its first musical since 2019. Catherine Johnson’s Broadway hit Mamma Mia!, which reignited a love for the 1970s pop music of ABBA, will be performed in the GMUHS auditorium on Friday, March 31 and Saturday April 1.

“Putting on a musical is a really big task,” says Alex Brady, GMUHS music teacher and director of the musical. “Mamma Mia! is not an easy musical by any means.”

Mamma Mia!, the 1999 jukebox musical  based on the music of the Swedish pop musical group ABBA,  follows the story of Sophie Sheridan, a young woman preparing to get married, and her single mother. Sophie secretly invites three men to her wedding, one of whom could possibly be her birth father. The play combines romance, comedy and the search  for identity set among ABBA hit songs including “Dancing Queen,” “Super Trouper,” “Waterloo,” and of course, “Mamma Mia!”

Brady says, “Musicals here in Chester have always been a big community event…. Everybody that’s involved has been working extremely hard and I know they’re going to put out an outstanding performance, something you want to see.”

The music for Mamma Mia! is directed by Angela Sabo, a middle-school English teacher and first-time musical director  who has had a passion for theater since high school.

Seven dance numbers have been choreographed by Ashley Hensel-Browning, a local choreographer and dance teacher who has worked with musicals at GMUHS for years.

Philip Malazarte, who plays Sam, one of the men, says, “We needed something that was comedic and uplifting after the past three years.”

Malazarte, a senior who has participated in theater since 7th grade, is in his final production at GMUHS. After the loss of musical theater over the past three years, he and the rest of the cast and crew are excited to get back into the groove.

Anna Bennett, a freshman who is new to theater, takes on the role of Sophie. “Initially I thought the lines were gonna be very hard to memorize,” she says, “but now I realize that the more I practice I’ve been doing fine.”

Bennett says that Mamma Mia! goes to show that “a big fancy white wedding doesn’t fix everything.”

Performances will be held at the school, 716 VT-103 in Chester, at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinée. Tickets are available at the door and are $8 for adults, $5 for students, and senior citizens, and $20 for a family of four. Proceeds from ticket sales go toward supporting the GM Theater Department.

Basil MacDonald is a 10th grader student at Green Mountain Union High School.

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  1. Barre Pinske says:

    I hope a lot of folks show up to enjoy the show and support our creative young people!