When players full of vocal talent and comedic ability, all wearing fantastic costumes, took the stage there was no question the Kelowna Actors Studio’s run of Mamma Mia was going to be a hit.
More than 9,000 people attended the 12 sold-out shows held at the Kelowna Community Theatre over the past two weeks.
As the lights first dimmed the scene was set. KAS artistic managing director Randy Leslie got on stage and got the crowd riled up as he chastised ticket holders for not saying Opa! loud enough.
Once Opa! was expressed with enough enthusiasm the show began.
Standout performances by both Sidney Cummings, as bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan, and Kelowna jazz singer Anna Jacyszyn, playing Sheridan’s mom Donnna, immediately set the tone. Their vocal chops let the audience know this was going to be a show to remember.
Jacyszyn’s talent and stage presence was amplified by her uber talented girl squad. Playing her childhood best friends and former Donna and the Dynamos band mates, Delphine Litke as Rosie and Laura Lebbon as Tanya showcased some true comedy clout and killer vocals.
Lebbon’s take on an edgy triple-divorcee, who eats men alive, was a fantastic stark contrast to her notable performance earlier this year as Mother Superior in Sister Act.
At the same time Litke’s comedic rendition of Take a Chance on Me had the audience in hysterics.
These standout performances were backed up by one of the most talented ensemble casts seen on a Kelowna stage in recent years.
Want to rock out to 20 classics from a Swedish pop band? Done. Want to belly laugh and sing along? Done. Want to see men sing and dance in flippers? Done.
Something worth noting – these thespians also provided all the background vocals for the entire show. Imagine. They are backstage frantically changing costumes while still singing the background track for those onstage. The mics were never turned off.
The show ends with back-to-back performances of some ABBA favourites that had the whole audience on their feet and literally dancing in the aisles.
The well-loved musical holds increased attention this year as Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again hits a theatre near you.
The original movie and 2018 sequel starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård and Amanda Seyfried introduced the musical to a whole new group of non-theatre nerds and created a cult hit.
The movie is based on the musical written by Catherine Johnson. The musical tells the story of a young woman’s search for her birth father on a Greek island paradise.
And it is all based on the songs of ABBA.
“A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget!,” wrote Kelowna Actors Studio about the show.
For more information on upcoming shows, click here.
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