Curtain to rise for ‘Mamma Mia’ at Carlynton | TribLIVE.com
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Kristina Serafini

Excitement is building as Carlynton students get ready to showcase their talents in the high school’s musical production of “Mamma Mia!”

The curtain rises from Thursday through Sunday, March 28-31. Performances on the first three nights begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday’s show starts at 2 p.m.

Carlynton director Nathan Hart said he knew the students would respond favorably to the modern show.

“It was the first show I’ve seen that I wanted to watch it again right away,” said Hart, who notes that the musical is a popular choice for area high schools because of the modern music.

“I think that says something about the show. It’s a really great show for high schools to do,” Hart said. “As directors, we’re always trying to find the right show. A lot of it comes down to simply, ‘Do we have the kids to fill the cast.’ ”

Carlynton producer Natalie Hatcher agrees.

“Sometimes it’s hard to find the right show to feature everyone. Then we saw that the rights to ‘Mama Mia!’ were available, and we were like, ‘This is it. This is the one.’ ”

Hatcher, a 1997 Carlynton graduate, returns for her sixth year in a producer role. She said the district looks at past shows done by the upperclassmen and tries to balance their experience. Last year, the school performed “The Boy Friend,” which was perfect for the small cast. The year before was “The Sound of Music.”

Alawna Mallory, a senior, will portray Donna, the mother of the bride. This is Alawna’s third musical at Carlynton. Alawna has not decided on a college but plans to major in musical theater.

Alawna said she can relate to the character, as someone who can get very irritated because she wants to get the work done right away.

“She does have a sense of humor, though,” Alawna said.

Having a role as a caregiver or lead woman is nothing new to Alawna, who played Madame Dubonnet in “The Boy Friend” and Mother Abbess in “The Sound of Music.”

Playing Sophie, the future bride, is junior Camryn Kwiatkoski, who is in her third musical. Camryn said “Mamma Mia!” is her favorite musical and Sophie is a character that fits her own personality.

“Sophie is a hopeful person. She goes through a lot of changes with a lot of people, and I do the same thing,” said Camryn, who portrayed Maisie in “The Boy Friend.”

Playing the future groom, Sky, is junior Benjy Gilby. This is Benjy’s first musical in high school. He said his friends in band asked him to come out for the musical, and he’s glad he listened.

“It’s really just a fun time. And the fun comes from working hard,” he said.

He said he can relate to Sky in many ways, but he needed to go beyond his comfort zone to become the character.

Other seniors with prominent roles in the show are Aleah Mallory as Ali, Maria Smereka as Tanya, Rachel Welsh as Rosie, Nathan Latta as Harry Bright, Patrick Kietz-Carlson as Bill Austin, David Holderbaum as Sam Carmichael and Zack Spragg as Father Alexandrios.

Hart said there is a good mix of seniors and underclassmen: “I knew the kids would love the energy of the show. We have a lot of new, young energy, and that bodes well for a great future.”

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