Student Story: Schalick High Gives Chart-Topping Performance With Mamma Mia!

By: Cassidy Driscoll, Delsea Regional High School

Students at Schalick High School rehearsing dance steps for their production of Mamma Mia! Photo credit: Schalick H.S.

PITSGROVE, N.J. — “Mamma Mia, here we go again,” live high school theatre is back and better than ever! A.P. Schalick has put on a wonderful and vibrant production of one of Broadway’s longest running musicals: Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! is the story of a daughter, a mother, and a father, and a father, and a father. Sophie (Sophia Kopreski) is getting married, and she wants her father to be there, the only problem, Donna (Andrea Ellis), her mother, doesn’t know who he is. The solution: invite all three possible dads. This jukebox musical, which first premiered in 1999, takes the chart-topping songs of ABBA and creates a story of love, family, and secrets.

The energy in the theatre was incredible, both the cast and the audience were having so much fun. The dancing, choreographed by student Hope Campbell, helped highlight this energy and the comedy of the show with numbers like “Does Your Mother Know” and “Voulez Vous.”

The backbone of this show is the relationship between Donna and Sophie. Actresses Andrea Ellis and Sophia Kopreski had amazing chemistry and amazing voices. Not only did Ellis have great talent, but she sang in three emotionally and technically demanding songs in a row, proving her abilities. Acting opposite these ladies are Sam (Sam DeCou), Harry (Joseph Viso), Bill (Jack Darischuk), and Sky (Christian Harridan). All four of them performed wonderfully, with great vocals and comedy. DeCou and Ellis portrayed a believable relationship, highlighted in “S.O.S.”, as do Kopreski and Harridan “Lay All Your Love on Me”.

This show is nothing without its comedy. Hope Campbell (Tanya), Molly Wood (Rosie), and Izaiah Bonselaar (Pepper) were hilarious, not only in their lines, but in their physical movements, from body language to dancing. Campbell and Bonselaar have great chemistry throughout that is used to create the fun energy of “Does Your Mother Know.” Both are incredible dancers and give this number their all. Wood got her shining moment in “Take a Chance on Me” which highlights her beautiful voice and comedic abilities.

Set in the fictional Greek island Kalokairi, the sets truly transport the audiences to times of summer and fun. The lighting, which only arrived two days before opening night, added the right amount of pizzazz to the show without being too much. The stage crew was highly efficient and hardly noticeable transporting the audience from scene to scene in a blink of an eye.

Overall, the performance was wonderful to watch, so “Thank You for the Music” and for the show!

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