Editor’s note: Due to the developments of the coronavirus, the spring musical “Mamma Mia” has been rescheduled. A new date will be published as new information arrives.
Seneca High School students are destined to get songs from “Mamma Mia!” stuck in their heads as the spring musical nears.
Singers, dancers and directors are finding the production engages them more than the usual school shows. Last year’s production was the more somber “Fiddler on the Roof.”
This season, the students want to get audience’s feet and fingers tapping along with hits from the show.
“It’s such a different show that makes everyone want to sing and dance,” said featured singer and senior Rachel Bland. “It feels like a dance party opposed to sitting there, watching the show carry on.”
Student directors Oliver Baumeyer and Robert Yates are impressed with their performers.
“We’re starting to realize that not only can we do this, but we’re really good,” Yates explained. “As a cast, they’re super talented, and I think a lot of people are surprised with how much better they are than they thought they were.”
Student Justin Drayton, who portrays Harry in the musical, has several of the songs stuck in his head, including “Money Money Money” and “Dancing Queen.” He believes the audience will have no choice but to be fully engrossed in the spirit and energy of the musical, especially as actors roam the aisles of the theater and engage with guests.
“There are a lot of instances where the cast is running through the crowd and coming through the aisles, so you’re getting really close,” Drayton noted.
Baumeyer quipped that the musical offers a 4D experience, with spectators who can “catch a breeze,” his way of describing the cast’s interactions with audience members.
For some cast members, rehearsing “Mamma Mia!” has become more meaningful as scenes come to life and they learn how dynamic the characters are.
“It’s like, you’re bringing them to life and when you watch it, it’s this, ‘Oh, that person is playing this!’” Bland said. “The people in the background singing and everything — it’s really fun to watch it and then be in it.”
“Every show has a different purpose and you want to make sure they’re involved and have a good time,” Yates said. “That’s what you want the audience to leave with.
“It’s a crazy party with the cast. It’s fun!”