Gimme Gimme Gimme ‘Mamma Mia’


          As students count down the weeks to winter break at Desert Vista High School, a group of performers check their emails every night for a message: ‘The Daily Call.’ Stage manager Lauren Malmstrom sends this email to members of the company every night to tell the performers what they’re rehearsing the following day, followed by a bullet point: “13 days until opening night.” The number keeps falling lower and lower as weeks pass, and performers are unphased by the very thought that the show will open soon. 

            Thunder Theatre Company is producing a musical titled ‘Mamma Mia,’ which features the music of legendary 70s pop act ABBA. The story centers around Sophie Sheridan, a Greek girl, who is to be married, as she attempts to figure out who her father was- all while not alerting her mother or disrupting the wedding. When all three appear on the island at the same time, hijinks ensues as she tries to figure out her paternal lineage, learning more about herself and her relationship in the process. 

 The performers involved include freshmen to seniors, with both experienced actors and those who have never been in a musical. Michael McLoud, who plays Harry Bright, spoke to me about his experiences on the show: “It’s definitely safe to say that my experience with Mamma Mia has been nothing like I thought it was going to be, but for all the right reasons…I think the bond that we all have as a cast is by far my favorite thing; it feels so much like I’m not even acting and we are all making such genuine connections every time we are on stage.” McLoud is an active member of Thunder Theatre Company, serving as an improv captain with Shandi Johnson. He’s also an active member of the DV Student Body Executive Board. He said that his biggest struggle with the show so far was that he couldn’t dance and sing in every number. 

            Natalie Sterling, a dance veteran, also spoke to me about her time with the production. “When I was asked to help choreograph for the school musical, I immediately said yes, especially since I heard it was Mamma Mia! I mean, who doesn’t love ABBA?… I have had experience with solos and group dances at studios, but a whole musical is a completely different ballgame.” Sterling is choreographing the show with Sarah Barney and Kyleigh Perales, and has said that her favorite memory of the show was watching the cast run laps and sing before rehearsals. 


Thunder Theatre Company is very excited to show off their first full mainstage musical since COVID-19 closed the company’s doors just two weeks short of ‘Anything Goes’ opening in March 2020. The show will be running November 11 at 7 PM, November 12 at 3:45 PM, and November 13th at 1 PM and 7 PM. If you’re worried about singing your heart out during the show, come to the 1 PM sing-along matinee to belt the iconic music to your heart’s content. Tickets are on sale at the bookstore now for $10, and ticket prices will rise to $12 at the door (bring cash). Don’t let Thunder Theatre Company’s Mamma Mia slip through your fingers!