By Chris Brown on February 7, 2019.
You think there’s excitement in Medicine Hat about “Mamma Mia!”? Twelve sold-out shows, two of them added after the original 10 sold-out in just 25 hours, is evidence enough there is.
“I’m blown away by the support we have for live theatre in Medicine Hat,” said producer Rae Wahl on Monday, adding people have been “fighting each other online” trying to score tickets to the show’s Feb. 13-March 2 run.
The support and excitement isn’t just in the community. It’s evident in the Medicine Hat Musical Theatre playhouse as well.
“I don’t think I’ve seen a cast this excited, they’re as excited as for ‘Rock of Ages,'” director Lyn Weisgerber said. “They’re doing anything and everything because they’re having so much fun.”
She said that extends beyond the cast. People involved back stage and in lighting and sound are pumped and can’t wait.
“People want to volunteer to come build sets, work in the bar, work front of house,” she said. “It’s a great little family here.”
Family is at the heart of “Mamma Mia!” For the dozen who so people who don’t know, the MHMT website describes the play as the story of “a mother, a daughter, three possible dads and an unforgettable trip down the aisle.” It’s all set to the timeless music of ABBA, including “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance On Me” and “Mamma Mia.”
The original London musical spawned countless further iterations, tours and two blockbuster movie releases. Most will be more familiar with the movies, says Wahl, but she and the director want people to know what MHMT produces will be based on the stage show.
“The movie used the same script, it’s just that as a movie you can have the backdrop of the sea and you can have the little hotel. People get more of an imagination already there, whereas on stage we have to build that imagination,” Weisgerber explained. “But I think that we have managed to build an amazing set. We have an amazing back wall that we illuminate all different colours to change the mood and we also have spectacular lighting that we’ve purchased over the year. We haven’t gone too far off of the grid but people have to remember this is a stage show so it’s going to be a little bit different.”
All 12 shows start at 8 p.m. at the playhouse.
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