HART brings the 70s back with its rip-roaring feel-good production of the 2001 Broadway smash hit Mamma Mia! If you danced under the glitter of a disco ball back in the day, chances are you were dancing to the music of chart-topping Swedish band ABBA.
This is not the story of ABBA. It's the story of their music. All the way from Dancing Queen to The Winner Takes All, there's not a bad song in the bunch. The music of Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, former ABBA band members, is brought to you by regional musical director and keyboard wizard Sarah Fowler who, in this piano-playing reviewer's opinion, is the area's best. Fowler is backed up by a deep bench of heavy-hitters: Misty Theisen, Derrick Everhart, Sara Nichols and Matthew Richmond make up the pit orchestra. Remember, folks, it's live. No "canned" stuff here.
Author Catherine Johnson wrapped a book around some of ABBA's existing music, and the peach of a plot fits like a glove. You, too, will be wondering until final curtain which of the guests at Sophie's wedding--Sam, Bill or Harry--is her father.
The biggest thrill of HART's large Mamma Mia! cast--some 30 onstage at times--is that they ALL can sing. And dance. And act. In a show of show-stoppers, they all stand out. They got what choreographer Jessica Garland was teaching them. You'll see HART veterans such as Alexa Edelman, Kristen Hedberg, Adam Lentini, Leif Brodersen and Georgia Reichard, knocking it out of the ballpark in principal roles, as they always do..
And then your mind will explode as you enjoy new talent that Mamma Mia! brings to the HART stage. HART's reputation, and its proximity to Western Carolina University's nationally recognized Musical Theater program, see to it that HART patrons always have the best.
Director Mark Jones hit a home run with Mamma Mia! HART's executive director, Steven Lloyd, was grinning like a Cheshire cat as this reviewer hurried to the theatre doors from LAST parking space available in the entire lot: "Just look at all those cars," Lloyd said, shaking his head. "THIS will get us through the winter!"
If you don't know ABBA, it's time to get acquainted. HART's the place to do it. You'll have happy feet and a happy heart.