It’s a whole new song and dance as Half Moon Bay High School student performers prepare to dazzle the coast with their rendition of “Mamma Mia!”
The high school performing arts department is ahead of the curve because the screenplay was only recently released.
“We got it about 10 days after it became available last year,” said director Jim Ward. “We’re one of the first high schools on the Peninsula to get it.”
Many of the students were excited to learn that “Mamma Mia!” had been chosen as the spring musical. The announcement compelled Panna Warren, who was the student director for “Peter and the Starcatchers” to make a move from the back of the stage to the front.
“I suggested ‘Mamma Mia!’ as one of the plays last year, so I was glad that it got chosen,” she said. “I’ve always liked the musical, and I think the soundtrack is really great.
“I like that it includes a lot of the ensemble. They get to be in a lot of scenes,” she continued. “Everyone has their own unique roles, from being a sassy drama queen to being someone who likes to adventure to someone who owns a hotel for 15 years. It’s just a lot of personalities put together to make a funny, entertaining show that everyone will enjoy.”
For those who don’t know, “Mamma Mia!” follows a single mother named Donna, who operates a hotel in the Greek islands. She’s preparing for her daughter Sophie’s wedding with the assistance of two old friends. In a bid to uncover the identity of her father, Sophie has invited three men from her mother’s past. If everything goes according to plan, her newly discovered father will escort her down the aisle on her wedding day.
Patricia Glosecki has been cast as Donna. Audrey Booher is playing the role of Sophie.
Warren and Genevieve Zaidain will be Tanya and Rosie respectively.
Each girl stated that the theme of true friendship resonated with them.
“In high school, your friends are usually the people you see every day,” said Zaidain. “The opposite is true in ‘Momma Mia!’
“Donna hasn’t seen Tanya in eight years,” she continued. “We get the vibe that Rosie comes and sees Donna more often, but we were really her friends 20 years ago. We’re having to get back into the rhythm from 20 years ago.”
Although the bonds of friendship were forged over two decades ago, the ties are still strong. When Donna, who has raised daughter Sophie alone, is forced to face three men who played a very personal part in her past, she turns to her trusted friends.
“Things just fall into place immediately,” said Glosecki. “They are there for Donna. It builds Donna back up. She’s like, ‘I can do this. My daughter is getting married tomorrow, and I’m going to step it up.’”
“I really like Sophie’s youthful energy and how passionate she is about singing,” said Booher.
Performances for Half Moon Bay High School’s “Mamma Mia!” are scheduled for 7 p.m. on March 15 and March 16 as well as 2 p.m. on March 17. A second wave of performances are also scheduled for 7 p.m. on March 22 and March 23 as well as 2 p.m. on March 24. All performances take place in the multipurpose room at Half Moon Bay High School. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by visiting hmbhs.schoolloop.com/spring-musical.