Get ready to be transported to a Greek island paradise for an evening of song, dance, laughter, love, and drama — no airplane required.
Eden Prairie High School’s (EPHS) fall musical is “Mamma Mia!,” based on the Broadway musical built around Swedish supergroup ABBA’s greatest hits.
The high-energy show is full of humor, romance, and of course, disco tunes. It tells the story of Sophie Sheridan, a young woman trying to find her father before her wedding on the small Greek island where she lives with her mother, Donna.
Sophie reads Donna’s diary and then secretly mails letters to the three top suspects — and they all show up two days before the wedding. What could possibly go wrong?
Sophie’s search reunites the unsuspecting Donna with her three old, equally unsuspecting flames, and romantic hijinks ensue. The wedding also prompts a reunion of Donna and the Dynamos, Donna’s old band, with her two best friends and fellow former dancing queens.
The audience will be entertained by no fewer than 23 of global superstar ABBA’s hits, including fan favorites “Dancing Queen,” “Super Trouper,” and “The Winner Takes It All.”
The cast’s playful, colorful costumes rival those worn by the global disco darlings at the height of their fame. The creative props and sets include a traditional Greek taverna and summery beach complete with boat dock and sandcastles.
Laurie Nebeker, EPHS drama director and English teacher, said, “The ABBA hits will put everyone in a good mood. We’re also excited to show off our set, designed to take the audience to a sunny Greek island paradise.”
Junior Laura Schiveley, who plays Sophie, said the show is upbeat but also has emotional depth and internal conflict.
“My character, Sophie, is struggling with her identity,” Schiveley said. “She’s trying to find a way to define herself based on other people, like, ‘Who is my father?’ or, ‘Who is this person I’m marrying?’ rather than who she actually is.
“But at the same time, it’s a super lighthearted and fun musical featuring a really talented group, ABBA,” she said.
EPHS junior Lily Lawinger, the show’s stage manager, said, “It’s my favorite musical, so I’m excited that it all came together so well. It’s an amazing production. It’s got a bunch of cool songs and dances that will get you ready to jump out of your seat and dance. It’s super-interactive, fun, and entertaining to watch.”
Performances will be in the EPHS Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, Saturday, Nov. 12, Thursday, Nov. 17, Friday, Nov. 18, and Saturday, Nov. 19. There will also be a 1:30 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Nov. 19.
Online ticket sales are open at Vancoevents.com using this link.
Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens. There is no additional charge for purchasing tickets online.
About the production
Over 100 EPHS students worked hard to create this dynamic musical production, including a cast of 40 performers, a live pit orchestra, a 20-strong tech crew, and additional support with the set, props, and costumes, Nebeker said.
“We have great mix of cast members,” Nebeker said. “We have a strong group of experienced seniors, but we also have a group of ninth graders doing their first high school musical and some seniors who are getting on stage for the first time.”
This will be the first EPHS production for Schiveley, whose role is one of the leads. “I did a lot of theater when I was younger in middle school, and I’m super happy to be back into it,” she said.
“The cast is a joy to work with. Everyone working on the show is super, super talented, and I’m really excited to show everyone what we’ve been putting so much time into,” she added.
Stage manager Lawinger also spoke highly of the director and crew: “Ms. Nebeker is amazing. The crew has done such a great job. The pit has also done an amazing job!”
She added, “Another thing to know is that once rehearsals are over, the productions are fully run by the students, which is a unique quality to our theater department.”
Nebeker said, “In addition to a large, dedicated after-school crew, this production has been supported by our Theatre Production class, a new elective that gives students a hands-on, project-based learning experience helping prepare sets, props, costumes, and publicity for the show,” she added.
Nebeker says they selected this production due to its widespread appeal. “’Mamma Mia!’ is super popular right now, especially for high schools,” Nebeker said. “We chose it because students love the show and the music.”
Tickets are on sale now for all performances.
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