Set to music from ABBA, ‘Mamma Mia!’ opens July 11 in Edison

BY Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2 | MonroeNow | Jul 6, 2018

Based on songs from ABBA, the Broadway smash musical hit “Mamma Mia!,” opens next week at Roosevelt Park in Edison.

The 10-show performance opens July 11 and concludes July 21. There is no show on July 15. “Mamma Mia!” is part of Middlesex County’s annual Plays-in-the-Park’s summer theatre series. All performances begin at 8 p.m. at the Stephen J. Capestro Amphitheater. Tickets can only be purchased that night of the show.

“Mamma Mia!” tells the story of a family, fun, romance and mistaken identity to the music of ABBA. The musical stars Wanda Toro Turini as Donna Sheridan, the mother of bride-to-be Sophie, played by Shannen Doyle.

On the eve of her wedding, Sophie is on a quest to discover the identity of her father, which brings three men from her mother’s past back to the Greek island they visited 20 years ago.

Armando Picone, Joe Riley, and Joe Zedeny play Sophie’s three possible fathers. Also joining the cast are Cindy Chait, Katie Riley, Kale Thompson, Samantha Cantaffa, Alexa Karp, Blaze Dalio, Jordan Rubio and Stephen D. Belfatti. The show is directed by Moggie Davis, with choreography by Christy Rak and musical direction by Warren Helms.

The original Broadway production was nominated for 12 awards in 2002, five of which were Tony Awards. It won the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Stage Performance. The show has grossed more than $2 billion worldwide since it opened in 1999. A film adaptation was released in 2009, and a second film, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” opens July 20, with select showings on July 19.

“The story and songs of ‘Mamma Mia!’ have enjoyed worldwide popularity, and we’re all excited to see them debut at Plays-in-the-Park,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “This feel-good musical is great summer entertainment, and a great opportunity to experience a Middlesex County tradition. Break a leg, everyone!”

The production includes numerous memorable hits such as “Dancing Queen,” and “Mamma Mia.”

Tickets cost $7 for adults and those at least 60-years-old. Children 12 and under are admitted for free. The Middlesex County Freeholders are proud to offer complimentary admission to the summer musicals to active U.S. Military Service members and their immediate families. Complimentary tickets also are available for veterans and a guest on the Monday and Tuesday performances of each show.

There will also be specific shows for audio description and sensory seminar on July 13, open captioning on July 16 and sign language interpretation on July 18.

As with the previous show, Plays-in-the-Parks will collect donations for the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services. Attendees, who wish to make a donation, are asked to bring non-perishable food items.

The final show of the summer season is “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” The show’s first performance is Aug. 1.