ABBA-solutely fabulous “Mamma Mia!” opens Feb. 21

Warm up with Whitefish Theatre Company’s production of “the sunniest of all musicals”

On Stage

Put on your dancing shoes and best ’80s fashions for Whitefish Theatre Company’s production of “Mamma Mia!” Feb. 21-March 3 at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish. Called “the sunniest of all musicals,” this wildly entertaining show fueled by the hits of pop group ABBA opens with a sneak preview night on at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 22-March. The Feb. 28 show was recently added to the line-up as tickets are selling quickly to all other shows.

Over 60 million people worldwide have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make “Mamma Mia!” the ultimate feel-good show. The story follows Sophie who, on the eve of her wedding, is on a quest to discover the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle. Not knowing which of the three possible men from her mother’s diary to invite, she brings all three of them back to the Greek island where they last visited 20 years ago.

Set to ABBA’s timeless songs, the story-telling magic of hits like “Dancing Queen,” “Knowing Me Knowing You,” “Take A Chance on Me,” “SOS,” “The Winner Takes It All,” and “Mamma Mia” propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship into a fun, entertaining and heartwarming show sure to drive away the winter blues.

“As we have been rehearsing ‘Mamma Mia!’, I have continually been struck by the phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child’,” says Director Kim Krueger. “Because apparently for the main character, Sophie, it takes a whole Greek village!”

In the story, Sophie has both blood relatives, and the extended family she has chosen as her friends and community. “I think this show is truly a testament to the honor of being chosen to be a part of a person’s life and the celebration that results with such a variety of family, friends and community,” says Krueger.

She adds, “It also takes a village to mount a theatrical production. Every aspect of this show – acting, costumes, set construction, set painting, props, flowers, lighting, and some of the music – has been made possible because of amazing volunteers. I’d like to thank them for choosing to share their talents with the Whitefish Theatre Company and thus become part of our theatre family.”

“Mamma Mia!” premiered in London in 1999 and soon after opened on Broadway in 2001 at the Winter Garden Theatre. In 2002, it was nominated for five Tony Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, and two Outer Critic Circle Awards. In addition, “Mamma Mia!” was adapted as a film in 2008 starring Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried and Pierce Brosnan.

“Mamma Mia!” has been performed in more than 50 countries on six continents to worldwide rave reviews with The New York Times calling it “musical comedy joy” and Broadway World praising it as “pitch perfect … big Broadway wow factor.”

This production features 26 local actors and musicians from around the Flathead Valley, including Don Caverly as the music director. The show features Sophie Sheridan as Sophie Sieh, Mikey Winn as Sky, Collette Strean as Donna Sheridan, Amy Chisholm as Rosie, Nicki Corne as Tanya, JJ James as Harry Bright, Rob Koelzer as Bill Austin, David Reese as Sam Carmichael, Rachel Hunnicutt as Ali, Moriah Schutt as Lisa, Solomon Franchi as Pepper, and Nick Brester as Eddie.

Krueger praised the cast as not only extremely talented but “full of brilliant personalities who bring the fun, comic timing, and vocal pipes to this show.” The cast is a mix of every age category, filled with some familiar faces, people who have not been on the WTC stage in some time, as well as several newcomers.

Tickets for the sneak preview on Feb. 21 are $12 for adults and $10 for students and are available only at the door with general seating. Regular admission is $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, and $10 for students with reserved seating. Tickets are available from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday (and one hour before performances) at the Box Office, 1 Central Ave., Whitefish, by calling 406-862-5371 or online at www.whitefishtheatreco.org.