Thank You for the Music: Previewing Mamma Mia!

Our Senior School musical, Mamma Mia!, hits the stage on Friday, March 1 and students, teachers and volunteers have been busy for months preparing for the show’s three-day run. More than 100 student actors, musicians, stage crew, singers, dancers and more come together each year to put on an incredible live musical at the McPherson Playhouse.

One of the performers, Grade 11 student Susan Gao, reflects on her experience of being involved in the SMUS musical.

by Susan Gao

I am a very big fan of musical theatre and music in general! Ever since I was young, my dad would always be playing different genres of music, including songs from musicals like The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables and CatsNeedless to say, my dad was the one who first sparked my love for musical theatre and Broadway.

This year, I am very grateful that I got to be in such a joyful and exciting production with such talented cast members. I had seen Mamma Mia! the movie multiple times before finding out it was this year’s show and I thoroughly enjoyed its gleeful and radiant atmosphere and all the  ABBA songs. I love how breathtaking the set production is in the musical, especially the buildings that are in tones of blue and white making it look like a summer paradise on a Greek island.

At the beginning of the year, I got the opportunity to audition for the Mamma Mia! musical and was so excited to get a callback. I hadn’t sung very much prior to auditioning but I have always loved singing and have always wanted to be part of a real production. I was very proud of myself for getting through the callback auditions; it was a very fun and memorable experience for me.

Rehearsals have been very exciting so far with everyone constantly singing, dancing and acting on stage. Everyone is always very supportive and we’ll constantly cheer on cast members when they are performing. There is truly a strong sense of family and bonding in the cast. We’re all constantly laughing together, too, in funny scenes like “Take A Chance” and it is wonderful to see the comedic side to the musical and how bright and cheerful it really is.

I was cast as one of the Dance Troupe Girls, and I was very surprised because I have never danced before, but I was also very excited to see how gifted I was at dancing. It turns out, I am sometimes capable of dancing without falling – if I am lucky! Nevertheless, I believe that it was a great opportunity for me to step outside of my comfort zone and to try something very new. Please come see Mamma Mia; you’ll have a good time being immersed in the musical world of ABBA with a show full of fun and great music!

Mamma Mia! runs from March 1-3 at the McPherson Playhouse. There are two evening shows (March 1 and 2) and two matinees (March 2 and 3). Tickets and more information are available on the McPherson Playhouse website.


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