Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

  • Courtesy Civic Theatre's production of “Mamma Mia!” stars, from left, Pam Good, Aimee Lackey and Susannah Chadwell, and opens April 27.

Friday, April 19, 2019 1:00 am

Civic tries something new with music for 'Mamma Mia!'

If you go

What: “Mamma Mia!”

When: 8 p.m. Saturday and May 3, 4, 10 and 11; 2 p.m. Sunday and May 5 and 12; limited seating remains for some shows

Where: Arts United Center, 303 E. Main St.

Admission: $30 adults, $25 seniors, $17 ages 23 and younger

Music and education director Eunice Wadewitz wants to make sure the audience will get the truest sound of Swedish pop group ABBA when “Mamma Mia!” opens April 27, so Civic Theatre is doing something different.

“When you listen to their music it was decidedly late-'70s, early-'80s synthesizer heavy,” Wadewitz says. So Civic has rented a special program that has all the sounds from the Broadway production and creates those sounds on the musicians' keyboards.

“That's really a huge step forward for us,” she says. “Because we have never ever done anything like this before and we're going in with both feet and decided to do it. The songs have iconic sounds that I wanted to give the audience what they were expecting.”

The music doesn't have the typical show tune arrangement. In addition to four keyboards, the music calls for guitar, bass guitar and drums. But for all of the pop sound, Wadewitz says there is a lot of classical nature to the music. At times, she says it even sounds like a Beethoven sonata.

“It was really interesting to notice that classical sense underneath all of that contemporary sound,” says Wadewitz, who has been looking forward to playing the music, which she calls a lot of fun.

She thinks the audience is going to enjoy the show, too.

“I think they're going to find themselves smiling a lot,” Wadewitz says. “It's just one of those that you can't help but tap your toe to. You just kind of find your body getting involved with it.”

The show is directed by Phillip H. Colglazier.

– Corey McMaken, The Journal Gazette