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Greensburg Salem kicks it up in ‘Mamma Mia!’ |
Theater & Arts

Greensburg Salem kicks it up in ‘Mamma Mia!’

Mary Pickels

When Greensburg Salem High School musical director and producer Susan Glowa heard the rights were becoming available to “Mamma Mia!,” she was ready.

“This was a brand new release,” Glowa, English and dramatic arts instructor, says. She applied and received approval to stage the show in the same day.

Speaking as students practice their songs and dance moves during an early rehearsal, she adds that the musical, set for March 1-3 at the high school, will include a live band. “We bring in professional musicians. The minute they start, the whole cast just kind of kicks it up a notch,” Glowa says.

In the film version, Donna, a hotel operator in the Greek Islands (played by Meryl Streep) is joined by two old friends as she readies for her daughter’s wedding. Meanwhile her daughter, Sophie, is planning a surprise, secretly inviting three of her mother’s former flames to her wedding in hopes of learning which one is her real father.

The movie’s title is a giveaway to the music telling the story, made famous decades earlier by Swedish band ABBA.

Teens interpret music, tale

Madison Wood, 17, a high school junior, has Streep’s role as the unconventional mama, Donna.

“I’ve always watched the musical at home with my ‘nonna,’ and I knew all of the songs in my head. When (Glowa) said what musical it was, I wanted to be Donna. I love all the songs that she sings,” she says.

“My favorite is ‘Winner Takes It All.’ I’ll be singing it out to the crowd,” she says.

The costumes also drew her to the character.

“We have the Super Trouper outfits, with the bell (bottom) pants and big sleeves. We’re going all out,” Wood says.

Freshman Connor Herrington, 15, plays Sophie’s fiance, Sky.

“I was going for either that role or Harry (one of the potential dads),” he says. “I love ABBA’s music. My dad plays ’70s and ’80s music. ‘Voulez-Vous’ is a really good song. I think it’s one of our best numbers,” Herrington says.

He also enjoys learning the many dance moves the musical requires.

“Being in ensemble is just as important as the lead roles. I just want to be a part of the musical,” he says.

Herrington says the title number and “Dancing Queen” are both fun songs.

“All of the songs are pretty great,” he says.

Student choreographers

Another way the students are involved with the musical’s production is through choreography.

“Mamma Mia!” dance captains are Owen Johnson and Kayla Tai, who are leading fellow students through “Under Attack.”

“They came up with the choreography and taught it to the other students. We do that for one number of each production,” Glowa says.

Assisting Glowa is Leyna Wright, assistant director and choreographer, who energetically leads the cast members through their steps.

“Mamma Mia!” will be presented 7:30 p.m. March 1-2 and 2 p.m. March 3 at Greensburg Salem High School, 65 Mennel Drive, Greensburg. General admission is $8 general admission and $10 for reserved seating.

Details: 724-832-2960

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
Student dance captain Kayla Tai, far right, leads Greensburg Salem High School cast members through a "Mamma Mia!" rehearsal.
Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
Leyna Wright, far left, demonstrates a dance move for cast members of Greensburg Salem High School’s "Mamma Mia!"
Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
Leiana Vaughan, who plays Sophie, rehearses with the Greensburg Salem High School cast of "Mamma Mia!"
Categories: AandE | Music | Theater Arts
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