Mamma Mia Cast Dances Their Way Into Mustangs’ Hearts

On November 10th, 11th, and 12th the cast of Mamma Mia! took the stage in a dazzling production filled with the familiar music of 70s pop icons ABBA and all the glamour to match. After the pandemic shut down their spring 2020 production of The Addams Family just days before opening, and the theatre department last year not being able to produce a full-fledged musical, students were more than ready to show the community what they had created.

“I’m most excited for the audience to see that after so many years of chaos we’re back to putting on good, top-level shows with a talented group of people,” senior Nathan Kabrhel shared.
The rest of the cast shared sentiments of excitement for the members of the Marriotts Ridge community to come see the product of their hard work.
“I’m excited for [the audience] to see the ensemble energy that will come from some of the bigger numbers, like Dancing Queen,” sophomore Alison Mehta said.
Not only was the energy of the cast contagious, the technical elements of the show served as an instant reminder of the groovy decades from which the music comes.
“The costumes are amazing, [the costumers] did an amazing job with making the glow in the dark [costumes], and I think it’s a great start to Act Two,” sophomore Charlotte Zoller shared, in reference to the nightmare sequence that opens Act Two in which the cast is decked out in glow in the dark scuba gear.
“I think everyone will be excited by the iconic Dynamo costumes and the Mamma Mia! jumpsuits we have as well as their favorite ABBA songs,” senior Jadyn Kelly said.
Despite all of the excitement, there were still nerves among the cast and crew.
“This is my first time doing a full musical on stage for the school. I think if I had more experience doing it the past couple years it would be less nerve wracking, but it’s scary because there are so many teachers and students coming,” senior Kate Ford explained.
Most seniors in the show only got to do one full production at the school before COVID-19 shut down schools during their freshman year, and last year the department produced a showcase instead of the typical spring musical.
“This year we have a much more organized program that allows for a greater showcase of the students, and we have a wonderful director who is on top of everything,” Kabrhel said.
The new teacher was welcomed with open arms by the entire theatre department.
“Mrs. Greffen is a breath of fresh air. It’s been nice to have someone who’s new to MRHS and a fresh pair of eyes to do things differently than how they used to be done,” Kelly shared.
Although the excitement had been felt throughout the department leading up to opening night there was pressure added onto new Marriotts Ridge theatre teacher Laura Greffen as she had to help rebuild the program to what it once had been.
“It definitely has been a rebuilding year. The fact is that this year’s senior class hasn’t done a full-length musical since The Addams Family, so we are essentially taking all four grades and training them in what it’s like to go through the rehearsal process,” Greffen explained.

Students expressed their satisfaction in the rehearsal process, although they have shared that they had some difficulties balancing schoolwork with rehearsals six days a week.
“I’ve struggled so much with it, but I haven’t fallen behind. You have to learn how to balance it, and give up some extracurriculars to be able to do work because that is important,” Mehta said.
Seniors had an extra load with college applications, though most of them had planned their time around rehearsals and application deadlines.
“I plan my life months in advance and submitted all my applications before Mamma Mia! started so I wouldn’t be too stressed out, and I have one academic class a day so it hasn’t been too stressful,” Ford shared.
Despite the amount of tribulations the MRHS Theatre Department has experienced over the past few years, the community flocked to see what the students had put together, and everyone agreed that it was the spectacle they had been expecting. Mamma Mia! is a show that will live in the hearts of everyone, not just those in the cast and crew, long after the glitter has settled and the jumpsuits are stored away.