By Jason Wesseldyk
Are you a fan of the music created by Swedish pop group ABBA?
If so, then you’re going to love Plainwell High School’s production of “Mamma Mia.”
Based on songs recorded by ABBA, “Mamma Mia” is slated to run at the Plainwell Performing Arts Center from Friday, March 24, through Sunday, March 26. The Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7 p.m., with the Sunday performance starting at 2 p.m.
Plainwell vocal music director Denise Beauchamp said the show will provide plenty of entertainment for patrons.
“Audience members can expect a high energy, colorful show full of songs that will make them want to get up out of their seats to sing and dance along with the cast on stage,” she said.
Beauchamp chose “Mamma Mia” as this year’s musical for several reasons.
“I try my best to consider a variety of factors when selecting a musical each school year,” she said. “For example, we try to perform shows of contrasting styles from year to year. Last year we did ‘Cinderella,’ which obviously has many fairy-tale elements. Thus, ‘Mamma Mia’ was a nice contrast.
“I also try to consider the individual students currently enrolled in our program and to select something that will play to their strengths and chemistry. And I try to gauge what the kids are currently excited about and listening to, as well as making a concerted effort not to repeat shows done here at PHS in the past.”
The production features several ABBA favorites, such as “Take a Chance on Me,” “Dancing Queen,” and, of course, “Mamma Mia.”
Beauchamp announced “Mamma Mia” as this year’s production last spring. Since then, she has enjoyed watching the students embrace the musical.
“Being one of the few people that gets to witness the entire process from start to finish is one of the coolest things in the world,” Beauchamp said. “Watching as the students started immersing themselves in the soundtrack and storyline to now when the kids are actually becoming their own versions of these characters has been the most amazing journey.
“I also love the kids develop these incredibly deep bonds with one another, as well as getting to watch the memories literally unfold in front of our eyes. There is nothing like it.”
Lead roles for “Mamma Mia” include: Livy Perrin as Donna Sheridan; Kenzie Shirley as Sophie Sheridan; Kyren Anderson Tanya Cresham-Leigh; Savannah Bowsher as Rosie Mulligan; Logan Beauregard as Sam Carmichael; Calvin Strader as Harry Bright; Caleb Braybrooks as Bill Austin; Logan Mollitor as Sky; Kayla Benson as Ali; Ryley Robrahn as Lisa; David Meeker as Pepper; and Liam Feathers as Eddie.
Beauchamp was also quick to thank the many individual who have helped put “Mamma Mia” together. That list includes student-choreographer Ryley Robrahn, set designer Troy Stelf, technical director Keven Badalamente, costume designer Lindsey DeVisser and her team of student helpers, the prop team led by Evan Beauregard, student digital designer Lexi Meeker and the live orchestra led by PHS assistant band director Owen Rushford.
“There are so many different elements that must come together when creating a show,” Beauchamp said. “It truly takes a village, and without each of these wonderful people we wouldn’t have a show at all.”
Tickets can be purchased online at http://plainwellschools.ludus.com and in person at the box office in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center beginning one hour prior to each show.