Theatre Review: “Mamma Mia!” Wows Audiences

If you are looking for a trip to Greece and a classic ABBA musical masterpiece, look no further than Pali High’s fall production of “Mamma Mia!”

With the book by Catherine Johnson and original music by Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, Pali’s version of the production took the stage for opening night on Friday, Oct. 7. Directed by Nancy Fracchiolla and choreographed by Hazel Clarke with music directed by Elizabeth Stoyanovich, the two-act performance brought in hundreds of parents, students and fans alike. 

Set on a tiny Greek island, Sophie Sheridan, played by sophomore Annika Johansson, searches to find her father in time for her wedding day in hopes that he will give her away. This came as a challenge as Sophie’s mother, Donna Sheridan, played by junior River Tharae, had three mysterious lovers all carrying the possibility of being Sophie’s dad. 

“Palisades Charter High School’s production of ‘Mamma Mia!’ hopes to deliver non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers in an enchanting musical performance,” according to a synopsis of the show announced on the Pali website. 

As Sophie hunts to find her dad, the performance delivered nothing less than what the synopsis stated as it kept myself, and the audience, laughing at every scene. Donna and her best friends, Tanya, played by junior Chantal Trent, and Rosie, played by senior Carlie Given, provided extended comedic relief throughout the show as they put on numbers such as “Super Trouper” as Donna and the Dynamos. Tanya also left everyone entertained with her scandalous romance with a younger waiter on the island and three-time divorcee history, actions that fit the character’s personality.

The show-stopping and jaw-dropping ensemble performed various numbers with the first being “Money, Money, Money,” led by Donna. The marvelous echo of the ensemble created a true center of stage for Donna, making for an incredible performance. The most mind-blowing number was everyone’s favorite song, “Dancing Queen.” Led by dance captain Maddy Suddleson, a senior, the dancers took the stage and blew the audience away with their energy, bright gold costumes and huge curly haired wigs creating a captivating performance.

With each song, I found myself singing along and wishing I was on stage performing next to the cast. The nostalgic feeling captured my heart as it took me back to the first time the original movie caught my eye. 

Attending the show on opening night, I left completely blown away. With a performance that has reached my personal top three shows at Pali, it clearly received the approval of others too as the show concluded with a standing ovation from the audience.

To experience this marvelous show for yourself, make sure to attend one of the performances before tickets sell out. The rest of the show dates are Oct. 13, 14 and 15 at 7 p.m.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit: