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Life.Changing.Times Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia

OTTUMWA --- What’s a girl to do to find her father so he can walk her down the aisle at her wedding in the days before genealogical DNA testing?  Find out as Indian Hills Community College’s production of Mamma Mia! opens on Thursday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m., with additional performances on Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 27 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in St. John Auditorium.  Performances are free but patrons are encouraged to reserve seats by calling 641-683-5144.

According to director Dr. Jennifer Boyenga, “Our students have had a blast from the past exploring the music of Abba and disco-era choreography.”

“It’s been fun creating a Greek island taverna as the backdrop of Mamma Mia!” says technical director Dr. Ray Slavens.  “And our students have taken on a large role in creating the setting for this contemporary romantic comedy.”

This popular and charming musical focuses on the wedding of Sophie, played by Hannah Haring of Cambria, at her mother’s resort on a Greek island.  Her stressed-out mother Donna, a one-time leader of an all-woman singing group, played by Peyton Nelson of Ottumwa, has no time for surprise visitors.  So she is in no mood to deal with three former boyfriends, Harry, played by Chance Bender of Pleasantville, Bill, played by Joseph Culp from Pleasantville, and Sam, played by Bryan Brain of Hedrick, who show up unexpectedly.  While Sophie confides a secret to her friends Ali, played by Khloe Snakenberg of Sigourney, and Lisa, played by Katrina Sample of Albia, Donna confides in her old sisters-in-song, Tanya, played by Becca Tosh of Hedrick, and Rosie, played by Bianca Cardona of Keota.  Will the wedding come off without a hitch?  Or will the groom Skye, played by Seth Bethune of Hedrick, get cold feet?  Can Donna’s right hand men, Pepper, played by Taith May of Albia, and Elijah Muntz of Agency, help her keep things under control?  And will Father Alexandrios, played by Ramsey Smith of Oskaloosa, put up with their shenanigans?

Rounding out the ensemble for Mamma Mia! are Mckenzie Hammes of What Cheer, Erlinda Aldaba of Ottumwa, Kira Smith of Hedrick, Nimfa Stanton of Eldon, Pablo Alvarado of Ottumwa, Geovanny Marrero Correa of Puerto Rico, and Jorge Saavedra of Wapello.

Vocal musical director is Dr. Janene Sheldon, who also worked with Dr. Boyenga on choreography. Taith May has been student choreographer for several numbers in Mamma Mia!

The Mamma Mia! band is under the direction of Indian Hills professor of jazz and instrumental music, David Sharp who is also playing woodwinds in the production. The band includes Dr. Janene Sheldon on keyboards, Tom Shadonix of Ottumwa on keyboards, Haley Parrish of Ottumwa on keyboards, Matt Clay of Ottumwa on guitar, Pedro Páez of Caracas, Venezuela on percussion, and Shannon Garrels of Bloomfield on bass.

IHCC alumnus Becs Bartle, a professional lighting designer from Chicago, will return to Ottumwa to design the lighting for Mamma Mia!

Stage manager for the show is Kelli Chapman of Milo, assisted by Carrie Combites of Blandinsville, Illinois, who is also the show’s costume manager.  Other members of the tech crew include Lily Arney of Ottumwa as sound-board operator, Luis Valverde of Ottumwa on spotlight, and Gracyn Chichelly of Cedar Rapids on the backstage crew. 

Blog written by: Jennifer Boyenga