I didn’t sleep well last night. Partly because of the experience I’d just had and partly because I couldn’t stop thinking about how I was going to write this blog without sounding like a 12 year old girl crushing on Justin Bieber.
My thesaurus is failing me this morning as I search for the word(s) that adequately describes the experience I had at the Drayton Entertainment Production of Mamma Mia. I had an idea I would, but now I know for sure that, “I Do … I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do!”
Several years ago I saw Blythe Wilson play Donna in the Mirvish Production in Toronto. She was brilliant then. She is brilliant now. She has since starred in shows with Stratford Festival, on Broadway, the Shaw Festival and many others but returned to the Drayton Stage last night and did that thing that only the finest do: she made it fresh, new and as exciting as though it was her first time.
Jenni Burke, Blythe Wilson, Jackie Mustakas and ensemble in Mamma Mia!
Drayton Entertainment, 2016.
Yes I know, I’m fangirling and with a cast of around 20, that could turn this into a very long blog. As usual with an Alex Mustakas production, there are no weak links.
So, a few other favourites:
Mark Harapiak: I think it’s fair to call him an old buddy. He and a mutual friend of ours, Eric Coates (former A.D. at the Blyth Festival) co-hosted my radio show one morning about 6 years ago. To this day, I’m grateful it wasn’t my last show. Yep, shenanigans and one of my more memorable experiences in the studio for sure. He’s every bit as talented as he is a great human being and he pulled of the role of Bill Austin with his usual terrific flair. Dude…Great Australian accent!!
Danielle Wade: Just … wow. I saw her last year in Anne of Green Gables and again in Footloose and last night in the role of Sophie. She has one of those voices that grabs your heart and won’t let go. Constant ‘feels’ every time she sings. Danielle, please sing at my funeral. It’s the best chance I’ll have of waking up.
The Ensemble: As has become the norm with Drayton Entertainment, the choreography is spectacular. The number with the boys dancing while wearing swim fins resulted in spontaneous applause from a stunned audience. I think most of were thinking, “Really…did they just do that?” Some of the moves throughout the show were just slightly beyond human.
One final shout out to Jade Repeta. I love it when an actor in a supporting role is able to steal my heart without speaking a word. Yes, as Lisa, she had lines, but her mere presence on stage provoked joy. Every time she appeared, I found myself smiling.
Sets, music, costumes, every actor on stage … all spectacular.
Okay, I’ll stop. This show is getting very close to sold out in Drayton, so if you want to see it there, I suggest you get online or call the box office soon. Details below.
It will also run in Penetanguishene and Grand Bend later this summer.
We are so blessed to have theatre of this caliber here in Midwestern Ontario. Go see Mamma Mia! It’ll make you glad you’re alive. You’re welcome.
Box Office:1-855-drayton (372-9866)
Visit the Drayton Entertainment website HERE.