Derby Dinner’s ‘Mama Mia!’ A Must-See

Getting their 1970’s girl band back together during Derby Dinner’s musical production of ‘Mama Mia’ are Mandi Elkins Hutchins as Tanya, Jillian Prefach as Donna, and Elizabeth Loos as Rosie.

A Review
by Becky Killian
Yet another Broadway hit has made it to the Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville with the venue’s stunning production of ‘Mama Mia!’
The musical features the enduringly popular music of the Swedish pop/dance group ABBA as it tells the tale of a young woman who’s about to get married but wants to solve a mystery before she walks the aisle by discovering the identity of her father.
The young woman, Sophie Sheridan – portrayed by Kayla Eilers – sneaks a peek at her mom’s diary where she gleans the names of three fatherly prospects. She invites them to her wedding then is stunned when all three arrive. The only one more surprised is her mother, Donna Sheridan, who is played by Jillian Prefach.
Sophie thought she’d know which man her father was as soon as she saw him – but it doesn’t turn out to be that easy to figure out who should walk her down the aisle.
The paternal candidates are Bill Austin (Matthew Brennan), Harry Bright ((Bobby Conte), and Sam Carmichael (Stuart May). As Sophie becomes reacquainted with the men, she’s reminded of their charms that seduced her long ago – stirring romantic notions she long-ago abandoned when faced with the responsibilities of single motherhood and the challenges of building a business.
The story celebrates family, friends, and love punctuated by energetic dance numbers that will leave you breathless. Songs include “Dancing Queen”, “Money, Money, Money”, “Take a Chance on Me,” and “The Winner Takes It All.” Don’t be surprised to see audience members singing along with the hits. It will leave you happily humming for days after the casts’ final bow.
‘Mama Mia!’ features music and lyrics from Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. ABBA was active between 1972 and 1982 and is considered one of the most popular international groups of all time.
‘Mama Mia!’is directed by Lee Buckholz with choreography by Heather Paige Folsom and musical direction by Scott Bradley. Pre-show entertainment is provided by The Footnotes, who perform a selection by Rodgers and Hammerstein as a preview to another upcoming musical at the Clarksville stage.
Performances of ‘Mama Mia!’, which include evening shows as well as Wednesday and Sunday matinees, run through Sunday, April 8. To order tickets, call 812-288-8281 or visit www.derbydinner.com.