A romantic adventure in Greece, backed by the music of ABBA? ‘Mamma Mia!’ has that an more as the Chemainus Theatre kicks off summer. (Submitted)

‘Mamma Mia!’ calling all Dancing Queens to Chemainus Theatre

‘Mamma Mia!’ promises summertime fun with ABBA music, fun and a romantic story

If you love the music of 70s mega-group, ABBA, you will have heard of Mamma Mia!

And Mamma Mia! the ABBA-solutely smash hit musical, will kick off summer at the Chemainus Theatre Festival.

According to Michelle Vogelgesang, publicity go-to for the Chemainus Theatre Festival, “Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson. The award-winning story is magnified by the songs of ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band.

Hot off a fun student run on the Ladysmith Secondary School stage (the Chemainus Theatre team was out cheering the kids on as it closed the May 10 weekend), Mamma Mia! tells the story of Donna (Stephanie Roth), an independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on a beautiful Greek island. She is about to let go of Sophie, the spirited daughter she’s raised alone.

“For Sophie’s (Alex Gullason) wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends — practical and no-nonsense Rosie (Jenni Burke) and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tonya (Erin Ormond) — from her one-time backup band, Donna and the Dynamos. But Sophie has secretly invited three guests of her own. On a quest to find the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle, she brings back three men from Donna’s past to the Mediterranean paradise they visited 20 years earlier.

“Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love will bloom and old romances will be rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities. The show is full of nonstop laughs, explosive dance numbers and packed with the magic of ABBA’s hit songs,” says show publicity.

Stop right there.

What songs? you ask.

How about ‘Super Trouper,’ ‘Dancing Queen,’ ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You,’ ‘Take a Chance on Me,’ ‘Thank You for the Music,’ ‘Money, Money, Money,’ ‘The Winner Takes It All,’ and ‘SOS’.

“All these combine to make this sunny, funny show a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget,” says Vogelgesang.

Running all summer until Aug. 31, the Festival’s summer blockbuster musical always brings throngs of musical fans to Chemainus for both matinee and evening shows, and a big list of sponsors has stepped up to help finance the presentation, including Duncan Iron Works, Ladysmith and District Credit Union, Unique Home Health, Buckerfield’s, Willow Street Café, Cowichan Eyecare and Resonance Hearing, FBM Plumbing and Heating, and Island Return It.

Call the Box Office at 1-800-565-7738 or visit https://chemainustheatrefestival.ca/ to book your tickets. Show enhancements are available and include: free “talk-backs” with the cast and crew following Wednesday performances, a special show-themed dinner in the Playbill Dining Room, and accommodation package at the Best Western Plus Chemainus Inn that includes a deluxe breakfast buffet, use of the indoor mineral pool, hot tub, and fitness centre.

Opening day is Friday, May 24,

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