Since premiering on Broadway in 1999 and eventually adapting into two feature-length films, the critically acclaimed musical “Mamma Mia!” will debut on the Short North Stage Thursday.
The production tells the tale of Donna, a hotelier in the Greek Isles, who prepares for her daughter’s wedding with the help of two long-time friends. Her daughter, Sophie, dreams of a perfect wedding with her father giving her away.
However, Sophie doesn’t know who her father is. Days before the wedding, she finds her mom’s journal that recounts the months before Donna discovered she was pregnant, and the entries reveal her mom had three lovers during this period. Sophie decides to invite the three men to her wedding because she believes she will know her father when she sees him.
The story is told through the music of internationally famous Swedish pop band ABBA.
Katie Davis, an actress from New York, will play the role of Sophie in the musical. She has held previous roles in productions such as “Newsies” and “Oklahoma.”
This will be her first time on the Short North Stage.
“Sophie’s story is one of second chances. She is a character that reminds people it’s never too late to take ownership of the relationships in your life,” Davis said. “Sophie gets a chance to redefine her relationship with the father figures in her life, with her fiance, and with her mother — while her mother gets a chance to revisit her past loves.”
Dionysia Williams, director of the production, said she looks forward to Columbus experiencing this fun, high-spirited musical. Williams has previously performed at the Short North Stage in “Follies,” “Marvelous Wonderettes” and “The Performers.”
This, however, will be her full-length musical directorial debut at the Short North Stage.
“There is a touching story of mother and daughter and how their relationship ebbs and flows,” Williams said. ”There is intrigue and mystery as we try to figure out who Sophie’s father may be, there are many comical moments throughout to tickle the funny bone, huge dance numbers to get the heart pumping, and so many ABBA hits you won’t be able to stop yourself from singing and dancing along.”
“Mamma Mia!” falls into the category of feel-good theater. However, the storyline’s power to affect its audience shouldn’t be discounted.
“Whether you’re a die-hard ABBA fan, or will be hearing ABBA’s songs for the first time, this show has an infectious energy that will hopefully leave you smiling and dancing in your seat,” Davis said. “If you’re not singing along and busting a move in the audience, we’re not doing our job.”
The play runs from Dec. 6 to Dec. 30. Performances start at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with 3 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. Student tickets costing $15 can be purchased two hours before the start of the show. General admission tickets start at $30.