SAFYPT: “Mamma Mia,” Sheridan Opera House 2/1, 2/2 (2 Shows), & 2/4

SAFYPT: “Mamma Mia,” Sheridan Opera House 2/1, 2/2 (2 Shows), & 2/4

The SAF Young People’s Theater continues its landmark 20th season with its high school production of “Mamma Mia” live at Telluride’s historic Sheridan Opera House, Feb. 1, 2 and 4, 2019. (Dark on Super Bowl Sunday.) Show time every evening is 6 p.m. The Saturday matinee is 2 p.m. Tickets are $16 adults; $13 for children 18 and under in advance. Lap children are free. (Prices increase by $1 at the door.) All three nights will sell out in advance, so everyone is encouraged to buy early. For tickets and more information visit or call 970-728-6363 ext. 5.

Twee heterosexuality.

Helicopter moms or just the plain vanilla variety, who are defined, at least in part, by the success of their female offspring.

Middle-aged men in perpetual search of hotties – and their lost youth.

Anything Greek.

The sounds of the Swedish pop phenom known to the world as ABBA.

The sounds of Broadway musical blockbusters like “Cats” or “Les Mis.”

Cheesy lines and a corny plot.

If all of the above fall on the list of Your Thing – or they just make you smile – then “Momma Mia” is the show for you.

The production, which is all about Abba, singing, sex and family is fun, colorful, vibrant, upbeat, moving, in short, musical porn – the very good kind, the kind which celebrates women of a certain age, who are still gorgeous and wonderful.

And it is coming to a theater near you.

Telluride’s Sheridan Arts Foundation’s Young People’s Theater artistic director Leah Nikula directs the musical which stars 28 actors in grades 9-12.

“Mamma Mia” follows a daughter’s search for the identity of her father right before she walks down the aisle. Three men from her mother’s past return to the idyllic Greek island they visited 20 years earlier, much to the chagrin of the mother-of-the-bride.

With music and lyrics by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson and a book by Catherine Johnson, Swedish pop-group ABBA’s smash hits including “Money, Money, Money”, “Dancing Queen”, “Super Trooper” and title track “Mamma Mia” frames the story of Donna, Sophie and her three possible dads.

“’Mamma Mia’ is fun, light, hilarious, endearing, and you can’t help but sing along. Everyone knows and loves these ABBA hits,” says Nikula.

Sophie (played by Macy Desmarais), daughter of Donna (played by Claudia Betz), is marrying the love of her life, Sky (played by Samuel Young) on the beautiful Greek island on which her mother runs a hotel.

Donna weathers the stress of her daughter walking down the aisle and being faced with three of her former lovers with the help of her friends and former bandmates: The Dynamos. Rosie, Sherry and Tanya are played by Linnea Taylor, Blaine Musselman, and Koko Waller respectively.

Donna’s former lovers and Sophie’s possible fathers include Sam Carmichael (played Dietz Woehle); Bill Austin (played by Zach Davis); and Harry Bright (played by Max Gorraiz).

Ali (Charlotte Botenhagen); Lisa (Maddy Regrut); and Sarah (Sophia Bridger) help their friend Sophie prepare for her wedding and navigate the emotions involved with finding her real father.

Pepper (Thomas Hatcher) and Eddie (Peter Spencer) support their friend Sky before the big day.

Owen Murphy plays Father Alexandrios.

Cassidy Craige, Chloie Plumber, Claire McNeil, Elle Robinson, Gizelle Winter, Kaizer Gorraiz, Lola Sembrat, Lulu Pumayalli, Mariposa Boyd, Maya Geiger, Nathan Stotlar, Rowen Warren and Virginia Wilkes round out the ensemble, a rock Greek chorus for the action on stage.

Nikula, in her second season as Young People’s Artistic Director, is joined by Danielle Jenkins as choreographer; Rob Wagner on sound design; Tommy Wince on light design; Buff Hooper on set design; and Traci Baize on costume design.

“A journey to a disco-themed Greek island is the perfect way to escape the cold winter,” says Nikula. “With infectious music, talented actors and a dreamy setting, smiling and feet-tapping will be unavoidable!”

More about Leah Nikula:

Leah is so thrilled for her second year as the Artistic Director of the SAF Young People’s Theater. An advocate for non-competitive children’s theater, Leah passionately believes in the importance of immersing the next generations into performance art, giving every child an opportunity to shine, take risks and shape cognitive skills that they will carry with them through the rest of their lives. Leah received her BA in Musical Theatre from The University Of Colorado, where she began her career as not only a performer but as a vocal coach and mentor. After graduation, Leah moved to New York City where she was an active theater teacher, voice coach, and she both music directed and directed several productions while splitting her time between Colorado and NYC. During her time in New York, Leah was a  member of two bands as well as an actress.

The Sheridan Arts Foundation was founded in 1991 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization to preserve the historic Sheridan Opera House as an arts and cultural resource for the Telluride community, to bring quality arts and cultural events to Telluride and to provide local and national youth with access and exposure to the arts through education. The Sheridan Arts Foundation is sponsored in part by grants from the Telluride Foundation. CCAASE and CCI.

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