Mamma Mia!: Was it worth your money, money, money?

The show that got Everyone Singing ABBA

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Mamma Mia!: Was it worth your money, money, money?

The Mamma Mia! Waterloo finale.

The Mamma Mia! Waterloo finale.

Mrs. Nora Burnett

The Mamma Mia! Waterloo finale.

Mrs. Nora Burnett

Mrs. Nora Burnett

The Mamma Mia! Waterloo finale.

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Hamilton-Wenham does it again with an outstanding performance of this year’s high school musical, Mamma Mia! The musical, directed by Mr. and Mrs. Burnett, involved over 50 students both in front of and behind the scenes of the show. With a line which stretched from the front door of the Ferrini all the way to the library, there was no doubt the audience was excited. 

In Mamma Mia, the protagonist, Donna, an independent inn owner in the Greek islands, is preparing for her daughter’s wedding with the help of two old friends. Meanwhile, Sophie, the bride, has a plan. She secretly invites three men from her mother’s past in the hope of meeting her real father and having him escort her down the aisle on her big day. The show is accompanied by songs from ABBA, a band popular in the 1970s.

The show opened with sophomore Eve Gujral, and juniors Sam Bucci and Sydney Rahilly singing and dancing to the ABBA classic, “Honey, Honey.” The amazing number really set the bar for the rest of the show. The show exceeded expectations, especially by the outstanding performance by Helen Peppler, who played Donna Sheridan. Helen’s fantastic voice, dance, and acting skills truly made the show worthwhile. Helen, a senior, has been in many of Hamilton-Wenham One Acts and musicals, including last year’s production of Into the Woods. Leo Kagan took a small part to the next level with his performance of Pepper, Donna’s handyman around her inn. Leo danced, sang, and stayed in character throughout the entire show and never ceased to wow the audience. 

The choreography, arranged by Eve Gujral and Kate Rubel, although sometimes promiscuous was still very impressive.  However, the most impressive part of the entire show, in my opinion, was the flipper dancing bachelor party. Ten young men, all in bathing suits and flippers, danced flawlessly to “Lay All your Love on Me” whilst being whistled at and catcalled. The incredible performance received a full round of applause from the audience. 

Besides the musical and actors themselves, the set was magnificent and it was clear that hard work and determination went into it. The crew’s clever construction of a dock, balcony, and hidden bar never ceased to amaze the audience. The set was complete with blue accents which helped to highlight the setting of the show, an island off the coast of Greece. The crew also incorporated color changing lighting, which contributed to the atmosphere during the scenes which took place at night. 

In every performance, there is a downside. However, in this show the downside was hard to find but it was there. In any big production, some of the performance will be uneven. I believed that some of the kissing, which was necessary at times, was a bit excessive, specifically for a high school performance. 

Overall , Mamma Mia was sublime for everyone involved. Musicals can be a hectic experience and some can buckle under pressure, but this talented group of students came together to create a worthwhile performance during one was the craziest times of the school year. Another round of applause for the cast and crew of this year’s musical, Mamma Mia!

Mrs. Nora Burnett
Cast and Crew of Mamma Mia!

Mrs. Nora Burnett
Sophie (Eve Gujral) tries to cope with her nightmares.

Mrs. Nora Burnett
The cast of Mamma Mia! performs “Money Money Money”.