LBHS production delayed three years because of COVID
Like the lyrics in the song, “Mamma Mia, here we go again,” the Liberty Bell Drama Company production of “Mamma Mia!” is making a comeback and will take the stage on Friday (May 12) at the Merc Playhouse after being canceled three years ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were almost ready to present this show three years ago in March of 2020 when COVID shut down the world. So we have rebooted it,” said director Kelly Grayum, a Liberty Bell High School teacher.
Based on songs of the Swedish pop band ABBA, “Mamma Mia!” tells the story of a young woman’s search for her birth father. Soon to be married, she secretly invites three men from her mother’s past — without telling her mother — to attend her wedding on a Greek island, hoping to find learn who her real dad is.
“The show is fun and funny, high-energy for sure,” Grayum said. “But it is also about a young woman who is figuring out how to make her own way in the world, and learning that it doesn’t have to be the standard textbook path. It has its touching moments.”
Liberty Bell senior Melody Langan has the leading role of Donna, a former member of the pop band Donna and the Dynamos and the mother of the bride-to-be. Langan will be familiar to audience members who attended recent Methow Valley Theater performances of “The Wizard of Oz” in which she starred as Dorothy.
Langan was cast in the lead roles of both musicals three years ago, when they were canceled due to the COVID shutdown, and has returned to perform in both productions when they were revived this year.
Another performer who was part of the original “Mamma Mia!” cast is Lucinda Doran, but other cast members are new to this production, Grayum said. They include Amelia Evans, Ezekial Kirk, Zoe Kaltenbach, Sunny Rickabaugh and Rio Bourn Lott — who will be taking a break Friday night from her duties as the junior royalty Queen of the Winthrop ’49er Days celebration.
Danbert Nobacon, technical director, led a group of students including Ghost Miranda, Ila Newman and Nora Bosco in designing, building, engineering and painting the set.
Skyler McArthur is costume designer, “and is even constructing the Dynamos’ fabulous outfits from scratch,” Grayum said.
Choreography is led by Missi Smith, Dana Stromberger is vocal coach, and Darla Hussey helped with promotional materials and make-up.
Performances are May 12 and May 18-21 at 7 p.m., and May 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students, and can be purchased in advance at mercplayhouse.org. Admission is free for Methow Valley School District students and families of the cast and crew. Free tickets must be picked up at the door before the performance and cannot be reserved.
The production is a partnership of the Liberty Bell Drama Company and Merc Playhouse, with support from Methow Arts.