Review: Mamma Mia! NHHS Hollow Horse Players

By Jody Key — Managing Editor Photo Credits – Kathy Brewster

What do you get when you take the iconic songs of ABBA and weave them together into a story about a mother and daughter? A feel-good musical theater production that will keep your feet tapping and make your heart happy. This musical sensation which first premiered in 1999 and took audiences by storm is being performed this weekend by North Hall High School by the Hollow Horse Players. You still have three more chances to see the show–Friday 3/1 and Saturday 3/2 at 7:30 PM and Sunday 3/3 at 2:00 PM.

Mamma Mia! is the story of Sophie Sheridan and her mother Donna. They live on a beautiful Greek island where they run an Inn, and the story is centered around Sophie’s upcoming wedding. Sophie has never met her dad and upon finding her Mom’s diary discovers he could be one of three men. As a result, Sophie cooks up the idea of inviting all three men to her wedding. The results ensue in a production peppered with ABBA favorites. This is a story about life, love, and reconciliation.

Hollow Horse Players’ director and drama teacher Jan Ewing’s set design is breathtaking. The essence of the little Greek island is captured in every colorful detail. Combine that with Ewing’s costume designs and Jayson Waddell’s lightning and the result is a feast for the eyes.

Not only has Ewing designed a beautiful set, she assembled a top-notch cast and crew. This show is high school theater at it’s finest. Under the musical direction of Benny Higgins assisted by Dr. Ashley Whelchel, these beloved ABBA songs come to life with strong vocals and rich harmonies delivered by the entire cast and crew. Student choreographer Cat Peets also lends a style and flair that ups the entertainment value of these beloved melodies.

There are several Key-noteworthy performances in this production. Due to the fact that several of the characters are middle aged, it’s often difficult to cast a high school production with adult roles that are authentic. Reagan Townley as Donna Sheridan and Alec Wilson as Sam Carmichael pulled this off satisfyingly. Reagan’s flawless vocals are a delight for audiences of all ages. Alec’s smooth vocals and impressive acting and dancing ability capture the essence of his character.

Reagan Townley as Donna and Alec Wilson as Sam

Cat Peets is not only a gifted choreographer, she pulls double-duty as Donna’s friend, Tanya. Cat’s amazing dancing ability is highlighted in the number “Does Your Mother Know”. Along with Cat, Gracie Tipton’s portrayal of Rosie keeps the audience amused. Gracie has a keen sense of comedic timing and tickles funny bones in “Take a Chance on Me”.

Cat Peets as Tanya

Other commendable performances were delivered by Austin Simonton as Harry Bright, Kristen Trefron as Sophie Sheridan, and Tanner Buffington as Sky. In addition, the entire cast and ensemble worked together to offer a show that is highly entertaining. If you are looking for toe-tapping fun, this show is the ticket!

Mamma Mia! Runs at North Hall High School this weekend only.

Get your tickets at http://www.hollowhorseplayers.com/ 

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