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    Ojai Art Center Presents Mama Mia

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    Summer is for adventures, music, dancing and having a great fun time. What better way to spend a warm summer evening, than watching the rollicking, feel-good musical “Mamma Mia!” The Ojai Art Center Theater’s summer offering is the ABBA-inspired production that has swept audiences away, leaving them with tapping feet, and the music racing through their heads. The show is such a favorite that not one, but two, movies have been spun out from its storyline. The musical opens June 14 and runs for five weekends.
     
    “When I first heard the rights for ‘Mamma Mia!’ were available,” said Tracey Williams Sutton, the director, “I was excited because I knew the show was extremely popular, and I have been talking about directing it for several years. From the moment it first debuted, every venue was sold out. When it moved to Broadway, audiences flocked to see the production.”

    Tracey Williams Sutton

    So, why “Mamma Mia!” and what is the magic ingredient that makes this show so entertaining?
     
    “It’s simple,” said Sutton. “The music is the ‘star’ of this production. Whether you like the music of ABBA or not, there is an undeniably infectious appeal. It’s not hard to understand why millions of people love this music: it’s fun. Every musical I can think of has moments of fun, despite the context of the show itself. While I particularly love a musical with a strong thematic message; there is nothing wrong with a show that draws you in through the music itself, as well as a sweet and honest story.
     
    “The music in this show will spark a different memory for every person seeing it, and they will immediately connect to that memory. Even millennials identify with the music in the show. It connects them to their parents who probably played the music during wonderful moments in their life history.”
     
    “Mamma Mia!” opens Friday, June 14, and runs through Sunday, July 14. Performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 for general admission, $25 for seniors and Art Center members, and $15 for 25 and younger. Tickets can be purchased online at OjaiACT.org or call 805-640-8797.
     
    The characters and actors for the production are:
    Nichole Riffenburgh as Sophie Sheridan
    KiseaKatikka as Ali
    Shannon David as Lisa
    Anna Kotula as Tanya
    Dianne Miller as Rosie
    Asunta Fleming  as Donna Sheridan
    Bodhi Bourbon as Sky
    Joe Hidley as Pepper
    Hayden Miller as Eddie
    Nigel Chisholm as Harry Bright
    Smitty West as Bill Austin
    Shayne Bourbon as Sam Carmichael,
    Vincent D’Andrea as Father Alexandrios
     
    The Company includes: James Alderete, Carey Appel, Ananya Badami, Lucas Caliri, Maria David, Marilyn Flynn, David Friel, Emma Hall, Heather Holden, Kelly Hollis, Sheila McCarthy, Polly Nelson, Shannon Penrith, Jade Taylor, and Quinne Venokur.


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