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Stratford High School to present ‘Mamma Mia!’

March 26, 2019

STRATFORD — Here We Go Again! The Stratford HS Drama Society presents MAMMA MIA! on March 29 March 30.

It’s all about family. And that starts with the Stratford High School Drama Society hoping you will “Take a Chance” on them with their upcoming spring musical presentation of Mamma Mia! on March 29 and March 30 held in the Bunnell High School Auditorium.

Staging is by Kathleen Murphy, vocal direction by Jeff Leinen, pit orchestra is under the baton of Mark Ryan with Will Duchon at the piano and the show is choreographed by Caitlin Roberts.

All tickets are $10. Shows are Friday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 30 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or, choose your own seat by visiting the Stratford High website at https://www.stratfordk12.org/stratfordhigh, and clicking on the Mamma Mia! in the news link.

But family goes beyond the plot of Mamma Mia! and into feelings of the students presenting the show, “Twenty years from now, I will still remember the friends I met through the SHS Drama Society, from those that graduated before me to those currently attending Stratford High. They are my second family,” said Caley Ott, a longtime member of the drama society who is on her eighth show at SHS.

“Mamma Mia! here at Stratford High has a sense of family and love, the same as how we welcome everyone here at school,” said Nicholas Nunez who plays Bill.

Mamma Mia! is set on a small Greek island, Sophie (played by Alexis Detuzzi) dreams of a perfect wedding — one which includes her father giving her away.

The problem? Sophie doesn’t know who he is! Her mother Donna (played by Stephanie Iodice), the former lead singer of the 1970s pop group Donna and the Dynamos (includes Caeley Ott and Charlotte Gilbert), refuses to talk about the past, so Sophie decides to take matters into her own hands. Sneaking a peek in her mother’s old diaries, she discovers three possible fathers: Sam (Evan Fernandes), Bill (Nicholas Nunez), and Harry (Matthew Pond).

She secretly invites all three to the wedding, convinced that she’ll know her father when she sees him. But when all three turn up, it may not be as clear as she thought! Told through the legendary music of ABBA, Mamma Mia! has become a worldwide sensation that has audiences everywhere dancing.

The popular show has seen multiple productions over the years and a film version. But, according to Evan Fernandes who plays Sam, the SHS production brings something special to the audience: “The Stratford High cast of Mamma Mia! is able to bring its own energy and real-life excitement to the stage that’s not originally felt in the movie. Our portrayal of the musical makes the show our own instead of another rendition of Mamma Mia!, turning it into a unique experience for the audience.”

Stephanie Iodice (Donna) agrees, “I want the audience to walk away remembering the energy and excitement that the cast has brings out for the audience.”

“The audience gets to experience the feel of a live show and feel the love that the cast members have for each other,” added Alexis Detuzzi who plays Sophie.

The smash-hit jukebox musical was written by British playwright Catherine Johnson and is based on the songs of ABBA composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. The title of the musical is taken from the group’s 1975 chart-topper Mamma Mia, and includes other hits including Super Trouper, Lay All Your Love on Me, Dancing Queen, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Take a Chance on Me, Thank You for the Music, Money-Money-Money, The Winner Takes It All, Voulez-Vous and SOS, as well as the title track.

The full cast includes: Sophie (Alexis Detuzzi); Ali (Sarah Shein); Lisa (Abby Walsh); Donna (Stephanie Iodice); Tanya (Charlotte Gilbert); Rosie (Caeley Ott); Sky (Lucas Smith); Pepper (Tristan Lariccia); Eddie (Geovanny Morel); Harry (Matthew Pond); Bill (Nicholas Nunez); Sam (Evan Fernandes); Father Alexandros (Tyler Tripodi); Ensemble of Islanders, Wedding Guests, Resort (Dominick Capomolla, Angelina Gambino, Aaliyah Gilchrist, Joel Gomez, Ronan Johnston, Kikkio Lindsey, TJ Ruffin, Jacob Russomano, Kaylin Serrano, Madeline Swanson, Bay Tait).