Mamma Mia! hits The Holly for one more weekend

If you hear a little extra commotion on the square this weekend, don’t worry, it’s by design.

Mamma Mia! is showing at the Holly Theater and director Heidi Rider says that it’s meant to be less of a show and more of a full-on celebration.

“Expect to have a party,” Rider said. “Feel free to dance because that’s what everyone is doing already.”

And so far the show has been just that. According to Holly chairman emeritus, Hal Williams, the show has been a huge hit with the audience, selling out the theater multiple times.

“It’s been blowing the doors off,” Williams said of Mamma Mia!’s first weekend at the box office.

Mamma Mia! is a story about a daughter, who is about to get married, trying to find out who her father is. Sophie, this daughter and main character decides the best way to find out who her father could be is by secretly inviting three former love interests from her mom’s past to her wedding. The chaotic reunion makes for an exciting and funny show full of singing and dancing. This makes for a fun time, not only for the patrons, but also the cast.

“We have so much fun up there on stage together,” Jill Coco, who plays Tanya, said. 

Kim Norton, who plays Rosie, says this is the role of a lifetime in her dream show.

“What 40-something-year-old woman doesn’t want to be in Mamma Mia!,” Norton says. “The role is for 40-something-year-old women, and you don’t often find that in a show.”

Kailey Steele, who plays Sophie, also feels a deep connection with her character.

“Mamma Mia! Was the first musical I ever saw,” Steele said. “I feel like Sophie is just kind of another personality of me.”

Along with having a leading role in the play, Steele also had a big hand in putting together many of the choreographed dances featured in the play. 

“Choreographing a show is about making a story come to life through movement,” Steele said. “So we have some huge numbers that are a big party scene, so it’s just a lot of fun with a lot of energy.”

The cast aims to bring the party-level energy and fun to the stage each night, making it almost contagious, flowing from the participants to the patrons.

“We just have a great time,” Coco said. “It’s a great story to tell, great music to sing, it’s a party on stage every night. And we just love the fact that we connect with the audience, it’s really special what we get to do.”

“We invite the audience to sing along with us and even dance, if they are willing to, come out in the aisles,”said Tibor Szenti, who plays Bill.

And while members of the audience are encouraged to sing and even dance in every showing of Mamma Mia!, the cast and crew especially urge those in attendance to participate in Friday’s show, as it has been deemed “Sing Along Night.”

“We want everybody to sing along with the show,” Jim Noe, who plays Harry, said. “Sing along during the whole show.”

The Holly Theater presents Mamma Mia! for the third and final weekend this Friday and Saturday Night at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Tickets to the show are $25 for adults and $15 for students and members of the military, and can be found at hollytheater.com. According to the Holly, the show is rated PG-13 for profanity and sexual themes.

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