Abington Drama Club Prepares for “Mamma Mia!”

Popular musical has kids singing

Steve Shannon, press release
Abington High School's performance of Mamma Mia will be March 12-14, 2020 in the auditorium.

Lily Bonner, Staff Writer

 

[Update: All performances of Mamma Mia have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic]

Abington High School will be putting on their spring musical “Mamma Mia” on Mar. 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m., as well as on Saturday, Mar. 14 at 2 p.m. It should surely follow in the footsteps of last year’s outstanding performance of “Grease.”

The cast lists are out and the cast and crew have been preparing and practicing for months. After the closing of their fall play “Almost Maine,” the Drama Club went right into rehearsals for the spring musical.

Pullquote Photo

But Mamma Mia is a hot property right now, so we struck while the iron was hot.”

— Steve Shannon

Steve Shannon, who has been teaching music at Abington for 32 years and took over directing plays in the 90s,has been a part of 30 plus shows at Abington. Some he was the director of music and some director of the play.

As for the music, Shannon says “Having grown up in the 70’s and 80’s I was familiar with much of the music. There are some really catchy tunes as well as some really poignant melodies and sentiments, so it’s hard to pick just one.” He actually played Harry Bright, played by senior DJ Collins in this production, this past fall at the Norwood Theater.

As for why Shannon chose this play to represent AHS’s Drama Program, he said, “We try and alternate between a contemporary and traditional musical every other year, and having just done “Grease” last year, we were in line to do a more traditional style. But “Mamma Mia” is a hot property right now, so we struck while the iron was hot. Although is more of a pop style, it has very traditional storytelling, so it sort of fits both criteria. We also want to pick a show that we know audiences will want to come out and see to support the program.”

In the future, Shannon ​would like to direct the show “Gyspy” before he retires. He said it is one of his “favorite scores and definitely on the short list.” 

“Mamma Mia” is a story about Sophie, introduced as a 20 year old bride-to-be who is determined to have her real father walk her down the aisle at her wedding. She is played by junior Carly Mentis who has been in the drama program since 7th grade. Mentis has been a part of AHS Drama’s productions of “You Can’t Take It With You,” “The Laramie Project,” “Grease,” and more recently “Almost Maine.”

Outside of drama, Mentis is the junior class secretary and also plays on Abington’s tennis team. Mentis auditioned and was selected for the role of Sophie. She said if she could play anyone else, it would be Tanya because she has “such a funny and spunky attitude and it would be so exciting to play on stage.” Tanya is played by junior Isabelle Assaf and also sings “Does Your Mother Know,” which Mentis said is one of her favorites from the show.

Mentis said her favorite scene is the finale, where the entire cast is onstage dancing together, and “having so much fun, and just jamming out to the upbeat music.” Her favorite part of being in the Drama club is “how positive and supportive everyone is. No matter what kind of day you are having you will always leave feeling so happy and loved.”

Junior Brendan Remillard will be playing Sam Carmichael, one of Sophie’s potential dads. Remillard has been in the drama program for two years. In addition to drama, he runs spring track and is on student council and the unified sports team.

In the past two years, Remillard has been a part of “Grease” and “Almost Maine.” Like Mentis, Remillard auditioned for the role he got and wouldn’t want any other role. He said that if he had to pick he would play Harry Bright, another one of Sophie’s potential dads because his character is “hilarious and allows for amazing acting choices.”

Remillard’s favorite characters are Rosie and Sophie. He said Rosie was his “favorite character growing up and is much more entertaining and comedic in the stage version” Sophie, he says “is a character you easily attach to, a bright young girl who wants the perfect wedding with the right people/person (her father).” 

In order to prepare for the play, Remillard has been working with the drama program’s vocal teacher, Katie Beckvold. She is “very helpful and I wouldn’t be able to do my best if it weren’t for her,” Remillard said. As for Shannon, Remillard added that, “You just couldn’t do it without him [Shannon]. He is always encouraging you and is hands down the best director.”

Purchase tickets in advanced at SHOWTIX4U.COM or on the day of the show.