Mamma Mia! – The Musical Event of the Year 

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Maroon Staff

The cast of Mamma Mia hitting their final pose of the show.

Caroline Calvert

Swaths of people filled the lobby at Scarsdale High School on Friday, November 18 in preparation for this year’s musical, Mamma Mia!. This jukebox musical tells the story of Donna Sheridan-Carmichael, a self-employed hotelier on the Greek islands, getting ready for her daughter’s wedding with the help of her two friends, Tanya and Rosie. However, the lively bride, Sophie, has a secret plan. In an effort to meet her true father and have him walk her down the aisle on her wedding day, she discreetly invites the three mystery men from her mother’s past.

This musical has become the first production at Scarsdale High School to be completely sold out since 2017, with the performance of Fiddler on the Roof being the last musical to accomplish such a feat. The packed auditorium buzzed with excitement as the lights dimmed and the spotlight fell on Sophie, played by Samantha Loeser ’24.  “It was very exciting to see everyone [who] came to support us,” recalled Loeser, “I felt a bunch of love from the crowd every single night.” This sentiment was echoed by Brooke Suzman ’23, who played Donna’s humorous best friend, Rosie Mulligan. “Oftentimes, the parents will come to support, but it’s hard for the students to come because they don’t have a connection to the show,” Suzman stated, “But, Mamma Mia! is a show everyone loves. The seniors really fought for it this year; we told [Mrs.] Malecki that we really wanted to do it. Seeing the payout was surreal, and I think we all felt like stars the next day walking through the halls.”  

But, before this fateful night, the cast had to put in hours of preparation to make the show come alive. Rehearsals began the first week of school, with the cast coming after school every day to practice dance routines and various scenes for hours. “Some dances are tougher to learn than others, but we all pulled it off in time, and we all had a lot of fun,” said Jason Dickstein ’23, who played the snarky architect and Donna’s love interest Sam Carmichael. After weeks of running through scattered scenes and working on dance numbers, it wasn’t until the last week or two before the show that the cast did full run-throughs. During this time, every actor and actress was able to truly get into character and interact with their cast members’ portrayals of their own. “When we start runs, and we’re incorporating tracks and incorporating costume and light; it is so interesting to see everybody getting into character. For me, it’s a thrilling experience. It allows me to make decisions for my character based on how other characters interact with my own,” exclaimed Suzman. “These hour-long practices definitely paid off, with the audience on Sunday even joining the cast in dancing to the song ‘Waterloo!’ “Nothing can beat the energy that was present that night,” reminisced Dickstein. 

The icing on the cake of this incredible show was the intricate, well-crafted set. A two-story, beachy hotel of pristine white stood on stage. A built-in staircase let the cast move from the stage to the second floor during the show, allowing ballads to be sung from atop a balcony like they were intended to. Vines draped the walls, and an alley was built into the structure to allow the cast to run on and off the stage between scenes. In short, the set looked downright professional. 

All this to say, it was no surprise the cast received a full standing ovation from the crowd on opening night. All the time, effort, and talent that was poured into this production shone through with every intricate dance break or show-stopping solo. Truly, an amazing performance that made everyone in attendance say, “Mamma Mia”!