AA students channel ABBA for musical ‘Mamma Mia’

Friday, October 22, 2021

Alta-Aurelia students will present the musical “Mamma Mia” next month. Tickets are available now in the high school office, $5 each.

The musical will be presented Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday the 13th at 7 p.m. each night, and Sunday, Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets are also available by calling 712-200-1331 or emailing Shawna at shilsabeck@alta-aurelia.k12.ia.us.

The musical is based on the music of the 1970s pop group ABBA. The story revolves around a young woman who discovers her mother’s diary, and invited three men mentioned in it to her wedding, to try to determine which might be her father - without her mother’s knowledge.

Vocal music teacher Natalie Bradburn found the musical an ideal choice.

“We try to find something that fits the particular group of kids - this fits my kids really well this year,” she says.

While the original songs might be even before their parents’ time, “You would be surprised how many of the kids today really love the music from this time period - they all at least knew the melodies, and many of them had already seen the movie version,” Mrs. Bradburn said.

While the musical is open to all students, members of the choir are required to participate in some way, on stage, in the chorus or pit, or backstage. That means the school needs a show with plenty of roles to offer. Auditions were held in September.

“There are a lot of performers, and they love to perform,” she said.

Parents have helped to build the sets and find the props, and other items have been scrounged to help bring the story to life.

“We’re so lucky to have the Roxy Theatre with its huge costume and prop rooms,” Mrs. Bradburn says. “This story is also set in summer, so a lot of our cast will be able to wear clothes they already have.”

What the audience will love most is the music, she predicts, drawing from ABBA classics such as “SOS,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “The Name of the Game,” and more.

“The songs are so great - we even added a sing-along with the audience at the end,” The director says. So be sure to brush up on your “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Super Trouper.”

Dance coach Brooke Neilsen has been in charge of choreography. “The kids are working really hard with the dancing. I think people are going to love seeing them perform.”

Running for 14 years on Broadway, it is the ninth longest running show in Broadway history. Productions have followed around the world, and the musical inspired a hit 2008 movie and a 2018 sequel.