Mount Carmel School’s Theatre Club is gearing up to present its next production, Mamma Mia!, the hit Broadway musical featuring the music of ABBA. The show is set for performances on Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, at the school’s historic auditorium.
Mamma Mia! is directed by junior and Theatre Club veteran Brandee Hunter.
Since this is her first time directing, Hunter was at first nervous but now that the show is about a week away, she is confident and excited.
“I feel overwhelmed with joy that I get to direct and be a part of such a beautiful production,” she said. “The cast and crew have been working hard these past months and will deliver a great show that everyone should come and watch.”
Hunter is no stranger to the Theatre Club, having been an extra in the club’s 2014 production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and production manager for the club’s most recent entry into the successful “We Drank Our Tears” film series.
The show also stars AlumKnight and teacher Keiko Yamagata, in her debut theatrical performance as lead character, Donna, the mother of Sophie, who is played by Tessie Rose Schweiger. Their tumultuous relationship stands at the heart of the show’s story, which unfolds on the Greek island of paradise to the music of ABBA. On the eve of her wedding, Sophie’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.
“I have never been involved with theatre but I am truly grateful for this experience,” Yamagata said.
She was particularly impressed with the talent, skill, and commitment of her fellow cast and crew members. “It was an awesome experience working with the cast and crew. They are very talented and committed to putting on a great show for everyone.”
This is not Schweiger’s first time on stage, having acted in several productions, including the lead role of Mulan in the club’s 2017 production of Disney’s Mulan Jr. “As opening night approaches, I feel nervous and anxious.” Still, she is excited, especially to put on another show with the club. “Words cannot explain how I feel, but I am beyond grateful to share this same feeling of love and passion with people who enjoy the stage just as much as I do.”
The show also features teachers Eleanor Alejo and Criselda Aldan as Donna’s best friends, with Jonathan Hernandez, Jener Pineda, and Eric Atalig as the men from Donna’s past. Also appearing in the show are John San Nicolas as Sophie’s fiancé and Kyla Cabrera and Raven-Mae Banez Driver as Sophie’s best friends. The show will also feature live music under the direction of school music teacher, Julian Greening, with vocal direction by AlumKnight Jan Bobadilla.
Mamma Mia! will also mark the school’s first performance in its historic auditorium since it was destroyed over a year ago by Super Typhoon Yutu. While the auditorium was reopened earlier this school year, the stage had yet to be repaired. However, with recent funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a temporary structure, the school was able to move forward with remaining repairs for the stage.
School president, Theatre Club adviser, and show producer Galvin Deleon Guerrero is very happy about returning to the auditorium. “This stage has so much significance for so many AlumKnights. They remember not only the signing of the CNMI Covenant and Constitution, but also playing basketball, holding dances, and, of course, performing here. …Performing here will be a homecoming of sorts, and we look forward to many more productions to come.” Since the repairs were completed to provide a temporary structure, the school plans to continue working with FEMA on a more permanent structure.
Mamma Mia! features music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus with some songs with Stig Anderson and book by Catherine Johnson. Originally conceived by Judy Craymer, the show was originally produced in London by Craymer, Richard East, and Björn Ulvaeus for Littestar in association with Universal with additional material and arrangements by Martin Koch. The music is published by Universal Music Publishing Group and EMI Grove Music Inc. and EMI Waterford Music Inc. Mamma Mia! is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International. All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI at www.MTIShows.com.
Mamma Mia! will be performed on Dec. 6 and 7 at Mount Carmel School. Admission is $25 for front-row premium seats, $10 for preferred seating, and $5 for general admission. Tickets may be purchased at the Mount Carmel School Business Office or at the door. However, due to limited seating, advanced purchase of tickets is recommended.
For more information call 234-6184 or visit www.mountcarmelsaipan.com. (PR)