Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mama Mia Opens July 28 at Benedum Center for 11 Performance, Eight-Day Run

ANN HARADA, JULIA MURNEY & JENNY POWERS IN THE MUNY'S MAMMA MIA Credit Phillip Hamer

Over 54 million people around the world have fallen in love with MAMMA MIA! since its Broadway debut in 2001, after which it ran for a staggering 5,758 performances. Now, Pittsburgh CLO will produce this international sensation for the first time, July 28 - August 6 at the Benedum Center.
Tickets are now available by phone at 412-456-6666, online at pittsburghCLO.org or by visiting the Box Office at Theater Square.

On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. Starring as our super-sleuth Sophie is Broadway and Pittsburgh CLO alum ERIKA HENNINGSEN, who last charmed Pittsburgh CLO audiences as Nellie in SOUTH PACIFIC. The possible papas to her Sophie are MATT BOGART as Sam (Broadway’s Jersey Boys, Aida and Miss Saigon), CHRISTIAN WHELAN as Bill (National Tours of Flashdance, Mamma Mia! and Aida) and RICK NEGRON (Broadway’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Man of La Mancha, The Goodbye Girl) as Harry.

There’s certainly no question who the Mom is…Donna – played by Pittsburgh CLO newcomer SALLY ANN TRIPLETT, who last appeared on Broadway in Finding Neverland, The Last Ship and Carrie. Watch this story unfold with the full complement of ABBA hits: “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Waterloo” and many more!

ABOUT THE CAST

Matt Bogart (Sam Carmichael) returns to Pittsburgh CLO where he last played Curly in Oklahoma! alongside Shirley Jones. Mr. Bogart’s Broadway credits include Nick Massi in Jersey Boys, Radames in Aida, Chris in Miss Saigon, The Civil War, Smokey Joe’s Café (also filmed for television and DVD) and Lancelot in Camelot (National Tour). Off-Broadway: James Joyce in Himself and Nora in Dublin, Ireland. He has premiered leading roles at La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Goodspeed and Cincinnati Playhouse. He is a proud Affiliated Artist with Arena Stage. His roles there include Val in Orpheus Descending, Lancelot in Camelot (Helen Hayes© Award Nom.), Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees and the upcoming new Georgia Stitt musical, Snow Child. Mr. Bogart has sung solo roles at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and with the Oklahoma City, Philly Pops, Columbus, Wichita and Kentucky Symphony Orchestras. TV credits include HBO’s Vinyl as Robert Goulet, Smash as JFK and Law and Order: SVU. He earned his B.F.A. from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

Will Branner (Pepper) was recently seen in October Sky (The Old Globe), Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat (Adirondack Theatre Festival), Jesus Christ Superstar (MTW) and Dogfight (Farmers Alley). Along with acting, Will is an aspiring director. Recent directing credits include John Barrett Salon (Film), Gruesome Playground Injuries and Rock of Ages. B.F.A. University of Michigan.
Michelle Dawson (Tanya) will be returning to Pittsburgh CLO after previously being seen as Rizzo in Grease, Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde and Petra in A Little Night Music. Her Broadway credits include Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (Arachne/Emily/Aunt May s/b), Mamma Mia! (Donna & Rosie u/s), Ragtime (Evelyn Nesbit), Showboat (Magnolia u/s) and Cyrano: The Musical. National Tours: Mamma Mia! (Donna & Tanya), Seven Brides... (Milly), The Secret Garden and The Music Of ALW. Pre-Broadway: First Wives Club (Elise & Annie u/s). Regional Credits: Evita (Eva) at Pioneer and Man of La Mancha (Aldonza) at WBT among others. TV: Law & Order, All My Children and Tony Awards® 2009 (featured performer). Carnegie Mellon B.F.A.

Lori Hammel (Rosie) was featured in the Broadway production and on the National Tour of Mamma Mia!. Other National Tour credits include 9 to 5 and I Love Lucy Live (Ethel Mertz). Off-Broadway credits include: Forbidden Broadway, I Love You, You’re Perfect…, Unbroken Circle and Bardy Bunch. Lori was the recipient of the NY Fringe Acting Award in 2015. Her Regional credits include The Bikinis (Goodspeed/Long Wharf), Happy Days, Forbidden Hollywood (Jeff/After Dark Award), Little Me (Jeff nomination) and Singin’ in the Rain (Jeff nomination/After Dark Award). TV: 30 Rock, Colbert Report, The Following and Master of None. Film: Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading, She's Lost Control and Coney Island Queen (Cannes).

Erika Henningsen (Sophie Sheridan) was last seen at Pittsburgh CLO as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific. Broadway credits include Les Miserables (Fantine). New York: Show Boat: PBS Live from Lincoln Center with the NY Philharmonic (Kim Ravenal) and Dear World (Nina) starring Tyne Daly at the York Theatre. She originated the role of Beth in the world premiere of Barry Levinson’s Diner at Signature Theater. Other regional credits include Found (Becka, Philadelphia Theater Company) and Hairspray (Penny, Woodminster Amphitheater). Recordings: The Theory Of Relativity. Concerts: 54 Below, Jazz at Lincoln Center. She is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan and recipient of the Alan Eisenberg Actors’ Equity Award.

Beth Stafford Laird (Ali) was last seen playing Katherine in Pittsburgh CLO's Newsies and is returning to the stage for Mamma Mia!. National Tour credits include Newsies (1st Nat’l), Belle u/s in Beauty and the Beast (Internat'l) and Molly U/S in Ghost the Musical (1st Nat'l). Regional Credits: Nikola Tesla Drops The Beat (Anna/White Pigeon), The Little Mermaid (Ariel), Sweeney Todd (Joanna) and NSMT's A Christmas Carol (Meg/Ensemble). Film: Disney’s Newsies Live! (Nun/Bowery Beauty).

Billy Mason (Eddie) returns to Pittsburgh CLO after recently being seen in IN THE HEIGHTS, NEWSIES, THE TOXIC AVENGER, AIDA and SOUTH PACIFIC. Other favorite roles include Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), Shrek the Musical (Shrek) and Seussical (Horton).
Rick Negron (Harry Bright) made his Pittsburgh CLO debut in IN THE HEIGHTS as Kevin Rosario. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico and received his BA from Sarah Lawrence College. Broadway credits: Leader of the Pack, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Legs Diamond, Man of La Mancha, The Goodbye Girl, Ragtime (L.A.), Mamma Mia! (Las Vegas), Kevin Rosario in In the Heights. National Tours: West Side Story (Action, Riff, Bernardo), Man of La Mancha. Danced in Michael Jackson’s Bad video and Chicago the movie.

Sally Ann Triplett (Donna Sheridan) is joining Pittsburgh CLO for the first time. Broadway: Finding Neverland (Mrs. Du Maurier), The Last Ship (Peggy White), Carrie (Sue Snell). West End: Follies (Young Phyllis), Grease (Rizzo), Jolson (Ruby Keeler), Anything Goes (Reno Sweeney and winner of What’s On Stage), Chicago (Roxy), Guys And Dolls (Miss Adelaide), Mamma Mia! (Donna),Viva Forever (Lauren), Cats (Grizabella). International: Life Of The Party with Andrew Lippa, Next To Normal (Diana Goodman with Pangdemonium in Singapore), My Judy Garland Life (nominated for Best Actress for regional UK awards), Damsel In Distress (Chichester Festival). TV: Eastenders, Holby City, Doctors, Down To Earth.

Zurin Villanueva (Lisa) has been seen on Broadway in Shuffle Along and The Book of Mormon. Her regional credits include Ruined (Everyman Theater), Josephine Tonight! (Metrostage), Good News (Goodspeed Opera House), Ain’t Misbehavin' (Crossroads) and Crowns (Arena Stage). She received her B.F.A. from Howard University.

Ryan Vona (Sky) makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut with Mamma Mia! A native of Boston, MA, he has been seen on Broadway as Andrej in Once and this year creating the role of Joey Green for Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour.
Christian Whelan (Bill Austin) returns to Pittsburgh CLO for Mamma Mia! after previously appearing in Oliver! as Bill Sykes. His Broadway/National
Tours credits include: Flashdance, Mamma Mia!, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Aida, Ragtime, Little House On The Prairie and Camelot. Off B'way: Ministry of Progress, Trolls and Emerald Man. Regional: The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors,110 In The Shade, Footloose, Johnny Guitar, Pollock, The Miracle Worker, Unsinkable Molly Brown and Working, Utah! Film/TV: Beach Ratz (Sundance Award winner), Nowhere Ever After, Celebrity, TomCats, Angel Town, Blacklist, General Hospital, Guiding Light, All My Children and Delaventura. He received his B.F.A. from University of Southern California.

MAMMA MIA! is completed with a talented ensemble including Sky Bennett, Kellyann Coyle, Lydia Ruth Dawson, Alex Dorf, Hailie Lucille, Cameron Anika Hill, Jessica Ice, Michael James, Cassie Levine, Carina-Kay Louchiey, Javier Manente, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, Kevin Paul, Isaac Cole Powell, Taylor Kellas Warren and Davis Wayne.

ANN HARADA, JULIA MURNEY & JENNY POWERS IN THE MUNY'S MAMMA MIA Credit Philliup Hamer
HISTORY OF THE SHOW
Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical containing some of ABBA’s greatest hits including “Dancing Queen” and “The Winner Takes It All.” Worlds collided when Judy Craymer, who would become Mamma Mia! ’s creative producer, was working with Sir Tim Rice and met Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson who were collaborating with Rice on their first musical, Chess. Craymer had an idea for a new musical containing ABBA music, but when she pitched it to Ulvaeus and Andersson, they were initially hesitant about the new project. When the duo finally agreed, Mamma Mia! began to pick up speed. Craymer enlisted the help of Catherine Johnson to write the book for the show and requested that Phyllida Llyod join the team as director for their production. Mamma Mia! was on the fast track to becoming a smash hit.

Mamma Mia! opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End on April 6th 1999, which happened to be the be the same day that ABBA had won the Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo” 25 years before. After an incredibly successful five year run in London, Mamma Mia! hit the road and travelled to New York where it played for 12 years and 5,000 performances. Mamma Mia! ended its Broadway run in September of 2015, but not until after being named the 8th longest running show in Broadway history.

The female trifecta did not stop here. In June of 2008, Craymer, Llyod and Johnson teamed up with Universal Pictures to bring Mamma Mia! to the big screen. Starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Amanda Seyfried, Mamma Mia! quickly made history as one of the highest grossing films of the year.

Performance Schedule for Mamma Mia!

Friday, July 28, 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 29, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 30, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Tuesday, August 2, 8 p.m.
Thursday, August 3, 8 p.m.
Friday, August 4, 8 p.m.
Saturday, August 5, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sunday, August 6, 2 p.m.

TICKETS
Tickets are available online at pittsburghCLO.org, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Tickets start at $25. Groups of 10 or more enjoy exclusive discounts and specialty packages. Call our Group Sales Hotline at 412-325-1582 for more information. Visit pittsburghCLO.org for further information.

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