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The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

Orpheum presents captivating show of “Mamma Mia”

Little Star
The Omaha Orpheum presented a musical classic this January with “Mamma Mia” featuring ABBA’s hit songs.

Broadway’s “Mamma Mia” came to the Orpheum theater this January and delivered nothing but smiles and laughs all around. The two and a half hour long show was packed full of ABBA classics and wonderfully thought out set and light design. 

The story takes place on a small island in Greece and follows Donna Sheridan and her daughter Sophie Sheridan. Donna owns a hotel and is hosting Sophie’s wedding, where she will be marrying Sky. Sophie has invited her three potential fathers, Sam Carmichael, Bill Anderson and Harry Bright. In addition to the loads of laughter and love, there’s also a heartfelt message at the end.

The first thing I noticed about the show was the talented band. Immediately, I felt like I was immersed into the movie because of the attention to the little details in the songs. The instruments complemented the actors’ voices perfectly while still surrounding the audience with a wall of beautiful sound. I especially liked the music in “Lay All Your Love on Me” and “Voulez-Vous” because it was so chaotic yet satisfying to listen to.

Performer Alisa Melendez played Sophie in the musical. Her bright, clear voice fit perfectly for the role and left me in awe. Melendez also captured Sophie’s bubbly, passionate personality, which was what I was most looking forward to. Additionally, she seemed to have good stage chemistry with all of the characters around her, which really makes or breaks a show. Overall, the role of Sophie is no walk in the park, so I admire Melendez for putting her all into the performance and delivering a light-hearted, fun show.

Of course, the show wouldn’t be anything without Donna Sheridan. Performer Christine Sherrill took on the role of Sophie’s mother, Donna. Unfortunately I was not as impressed with Sherrill’s performance because of her entrances to most songs. As a Broadway performer it’s important to ensure that one starts singing their entrance on the beat. Sherrill was a beat late on most of her entrances to the songs which left me mildly annoyed and confused. 

Though this is true, she still nailed some parts, like the ending to “Slipping Through my Fingers”. She belted the very end of the song and left the audience’s jaws dropped. It really was a “goosebump moment” in my eyes. 

In regards to Donna’s backup dancers/ best friends Tanya and Rosie, I was completely blown away. Performer Carly Sakolove played the role of Rosie while performer Jalynn Steele played Tanya. The two of their voices blended perfectly together, especially in the song “Chiquitita”. Finding a perfect blend between singers is difficult but very impressive if it can be accomplished the right way. The two actresses also created a special connection with the audience by making everyone laugh. In my opinion, the two actresses carried the show. 

Something that interested me was the differences between the movie and the show. As someone who has grown up watching the movie, I was fully expecting to pretty much know everything about the show. I appreciated that the show was different because it made it more interesting for people who have only seen the movie. Certain characters sang different songs than what was in the movie, which I really liked. For example, Harry Bright sang “Our Last Summer” in the show, but in the movie it was a trio between Bright, Sam Carmichael and Bill Anderson. 

There was also a scene in the musical that I remembered not being in the movie. The scene involved Sophie having nightmares about her wedding. Bright neon colors and boys with scuba masks filled the stage as she traveled around, singing in her bed. This scene was well put together because it grasped people’s attention and it was something I’ve never seen before. Overall, I appreciate the musical being different from the movie. 

To my surprise, the musical ended with three encore songs, which was a real treat for the audience. Everyone was standing up and singing or dancing along with the music, which really brought a nice energy into the room. Harry, Sam and Bill all came out onto stage wearing fabulous 70’s inspired costumes that glittered under the lights. This touch to the show made it a little bit easier leaving the Orpheum because it left people happy and fulfilled. Sometimes, I get bored when productions do encores because they can be redundant; it was the complete opposite case for “Mama Mia”. The wonderful performance goes to show how much time and effort was put into the production. You can really tell that the cast, crew and band put their heart and soul into this beautiful work. 

Finally, I’d like to conclude by saying that there’s no better place than the Orpheum to host a show. The building itself is a piece of art and is so beautifully restored. The ambience of the whole place makes you feel warm and excited too. With wonderful concession snacks, and super clean bathrooms, I was fully satisfied with my experience and look forward to going back. 

My childhood memories of watching the movie over and over were finally brought to life and I’ll cherish the experience forever. If you have a chance to attend “Mamma Mia”, I definitely recommend it.

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About the Contributor
Sammy Marvin
Sammy Marvin, Managing Editor
Howdy, my name is Sammy Marvin! I am a Managing Editor for Westside Wired. I am currently a senior and this is my fourth year on Wired. A fun fact about me is that I love lizards. If you have any questions or comments please contact me at [email protected].
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