Here we go again — ‘Mamma Mia!’ returns

“Mamma Mia!” returns for an encore at Youngstown Playhouse.

The musical, built around the music of ABBA, sold out all eight performances when the Playhouse was the first area theater company to stage the long-running Broadway hit last fall. Talk of bringing back the show started before the opening weekend was complete.

The revival of Mamma Mia!, originally directed by Donna Smith Downie, will be supervised by Playhouse operations manager James McClellan, with Lori George returning as choreographer and Matthew White again providing musical direction. Members of the original Playhouse cast will be joined by Brandy Johanntges as the spirited mother of the bride, Donna Sheridan, and Zachery Bernat as groomsman Eddie.

Returning to the production are featured players Tina Cummings, Jill Cataldi, Cortney Mackay, Ashley Milligan Smith, Natalie Kovacs, Johnny George, John Monroe, Christopher Fidram, Robert Kozar, Alan McCreary and Joe Malys. Holly Ceci joins previous ensemble members Mary Bonamese, Sam Early, Allyson Kremm, Cassandra Smith, Anne Sopher, Kyla Teeters and John Weber.

As before, J. E. Ballantyne, Jr. is stage manager for the production. Matthew White’s set designs, Ellen Licitra’s lighting, Therese Pitzulo’s costumes and John Markovich’s sound design will all return to the Playhouse. Johnny Pecano serves as technical coordinator.

The musical’s score is made up entirely of the hit songs of ABBA, the Swedish pop group who came to radio prominence in the 1970s. Set on a picturesque Greek island, the show tells the story of a young woman’s search for her birth father. On the eve of her wedding, she summons three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.

The musical ran for nearly 14 years on Broadway and spawned a hit film adaptation and sequel. It includes such songs as “Dancing Queen,” “Super Trouper,” “Waterloo” and the title song.

“Mamma Mia!” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and July 18 to 20 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday and July 21 at the Youngstown Playhouse, 600 Playhouse Lane, Youngstown. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and senior citizens and are available online at www.theyoungstown playhouse.com and by calling the box office at 330-788-8739.

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