Advertised as “the most fun you’ll have in theatres,” Western Canada Theatre’s (WCT) newest production Mamma Mia! keeps that promise. Directed by Ron Ulrich, this classic Broadway musical came to life.
Mamma Mia! is the story of a 21-year-old Sophie Sheridan and her single mother Donna Sheridan living on a small island in Greece. Sophie invites three men that could be her potential father to the island that night before her wedding. She hopes to find out which one of them is her dad, but her mother Donna is no help and doesn’t want to talk about it. When the three men show up, old feelings come up between each of the men and Donna. Sophie thinks that when she sees her dad she’ll just know who he is, but when they arrive, she is still unsure of who will give her away at her wedding in less than 24 hours.
Starring Katie Kerr as Sophie Sheridan, Kerr offers a charming version of this beloved character. She gives Sophie a real sense of innocence and sometimes naïve decision-making, that we learn to forgive because she just wants to know who her dad is before she ties the knot.
Cailin Stadnyk shares the stage and plays the role of Sophie’s mother Donna Sheridan. Stadnyk steals the show, giving one of the most hilarious and raw performance’s I’ve seen in a WCT production. She gave a measured and soulful performance that made her character the strong single mother that anyone can look up to. Along with her excellent voice that carried us through the disco-infused tunes, Stadnyk gives us empathy for her character while making us laugh out loud.
This show gave many other great performances including Alana Hibbert as the sassy and glamorous Tanya Cresham-Leigh and Kevin Aichele, who charms us into forgiveness by reminding us that no one is perfect in his role as Sam Carmichael. Although, the choreography by Jeff Dimitriou is what put this production over the top, and often puts us in a time warp.
The sets on this production were not only well made and practical, but down right picturesque. Including a gorgeous moon that dominated the background while casting its luminance over the characters as they filled the stage with song and dance.
The production was produced in association with Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, Ontario. Mamma Mia! runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. until Dec. 6 at the Sagebrush theatre. Student tickets are $19 each, and their will be a pay-what-you-can matinée on Dec. 3.