HCLO to perform ‘Mamma Mia’

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The Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera will perform the musical “Mamma Mia!” at the Hattiesburg Saenger Theater Nov. 15-18.

Set on a Greek island and using hits from the 70s Swedish pop band ABBA, “Mamma Mia!” tells the story of Sophie as she tries to discover the identity of her father the day before her wedding. The 1999 musical was adapted into the movie “Mamma Mia!” in 2008, which spawned a sequel, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” in July of 2018.

Judyth Daley, who graduated from Southern Miss in 2017 with a degree in theater, plays the character Sophie. This is her fourth show with HCLO.

“It’s been really fun, and it’s been challenging because this is my first big lead in a musical. But I feel like I’ve had a lot of growth from it. I’m really excited. I just want to do it justice because it’s a dream role for so many girls, and I got it,” Daley said.

Olivia Drinkwater plays the role of Donna, Sophie’s mother, and said “Mamma Mia!” is a classic.

“I think ‘Mamma Mia!’ is one of those shows that has so many songs that people know and love and when you come out you want to get up and sing along and dance along. The story is very light-hearted, very funny and something that everyone can relate to. It’s just going to be such a great way to kick off the holiday season,” Drinkwater said.

Miles Doleac, a Classics and film professor at Southern Miss, plays the role of Sam in the musical.

Doleac said, “For me, it’s the ultimate jukebox musical and I just think people are going to come out and have a positively wonderful time with this music and wonderful cast. And it’s a show for the whole family.”

Lindsay Williams is the the director of the show and also plays the character Tanya. This is her second time directing a show for HCLO. Williams said that while there are some minor differences between the movie and the stage production, they are overall the same.

“One of my favorite differences though is a small plotline that they’ve inserted into the musical about Helen of Troy’s pearl necklace. There’s this legend that if a groom goes and dives down to the shipwreck and he finds the necklace he’ll have a blessed union. Sky finds the necklace and gives it to Sophie at their bachelor/bachelorette party. I think that’s a cute bit that they threw in there,” Williams said.

The necklace was designed and crafted by a local artisan using natural freshwater pearls, according to Williams. HCLO is selling raffle tickets for the pearl necklace that is used in the show. Tickets can be purchased on the HCLO website. Replicas of the necklace are also being sold online and will be sold in the theater.

Tickets for the show are available now at hclo.org and will also be available at the door.