Running from May 5th through May 8th, Point Pleasant Borough High School’s performing arts department presented their production of Mamma Mia!, the Broadway hit turned movie- musical featuring the music of Swedish pop group ABBA.
Taking place on a beautiful Greek island, Mamma Mia! tells the story of Donna Sheridan (played by Aislyn Lapp, senior) as she prepares her hotel for her daughter’s wedding. Unbeknownst to her, her daughter Sophie (Sophia Lepore, junior) has invited her father to the wedding… that is, if she knew who her father was. Upon discovering that she has three possible fathers, Sophie decides to invite all three: Harry (Aidan Hulse, junior), Bill (Thomas Baker, senior), and Sam (Vincent Rullo, junior). Unable to immediately determine which man is the father, Donna eventually discovers her three former flings’ presence on the island and is thrown into a spiral of conflicting emotions.
As independent and stubborn as she is, Donna receives the advice and support from her closest friends and fellow Dynamos, Tanya (Amy Scraggs, junior) and Rosie (Lily Strassheim, junior). Through a series of wedding-related hijinks, comedic antics,
and high-energy musical numbers, Donna and Sophie learn that what you want isn’t always what you need. They learn that, sometimes, getting what will make you happy will force you outside of your comfort zone. You can’t let the ones you love
go slipping through your fingers.
What made this performance so special? Besides the immense amount of talent displayed by the cast, it’s just so much FUN! Mamma Mia! is campy and frivolous in the best way possible. The brightly-colored costumes (costume designers: Mrs. Debi Bilotta and Mrs. Kathy Stewart) were dazzling and unlike anything seen on this stage before. The over-the-top dance numbers (Dancing Queen- I mean… choreographer:
Miss Christine Baglivio) were electric and made the show feel like a party. The instantly recognizable music (musical director:
Miss Felicia Villa) had the audience clapping and singing along.
The set of the show (built by PPBHS’s many stagecraft classes) truly established the show’s summer Greek Island setting. There were balconies, lights, flowers, and plenty of bright blue accents to emulate the feeling that an ocean of the same color was nearby.
The performance by the cast was dynamic, comedic, and made for an all-around feel-good show for anyone in the audience, which, to the cast, was the name of the game. So much, in fact, that the company obeyed their audience’s pleas to “gimme, gimme, gimme more music” and had three encore songs following their final bows, including fan favorites “Mamma Mia”, “Dancing Queen”, and “Waterloo”. The smiles and laughter from audience members matched those of the performers, showing that PPBHS’s Mamma Mia! was fun and worthwhile for everyone involved.
After their planned 2020 production of West Side Story got cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PPBHS performing arts department is back and better than ever, pouring their hearts and souls into this year’s musical. This production clearly showcases the tremendous amount of talent possessed by the cast, crew, orchestra (conductor: Mr. Scott Visco), production staff, and everyone involved in putting this show together. A big “Thank You!” to director/scene designer Mr. Ian Kearns, production manager
Mrs. Rebecca Muraglia, technical director Eric Larsen, artistic designer/box office manager Mrs. Denise LaPlaca, box office manager Mrs. Stacey Camilleri, and Playbill designer Mrs. Samantha Willmot. Another special “Thank You!” to the Point Pleasant Board of Education and PPBHS Administrators, as well as parents, family members, friends, and everyone else who came to support PPBHS performing arts. Mamma Mia! would not have been possible without your love and support.
Bravo, PPBHS! We say “thank you for the music” and we can’t wait to see what you do in the future.