Director Michael Brindisi is an expert at managing these big shows on the Chan's stage without it ever feeling crowded or chaotic. He also makes great use of the entire theater as actors enter and exit through the audience, with a post-curtain call audience dance-along. He keeps the tone fun and energetic, with pauses for those quieter poignant moments.
|Donna and the Dynamos (Therese Walth, Kersten Rodau,
and Michelle Barber, photo by Tom Wallace)
|my three dads (Michael Gruber, Jessica Fredrickson,
John-Michael Zuerlein, and Jay Albright, photo by Tom Wallace)
The Chan's dream team of creative/designers shines again here. Andrew Cooke returns to the Chanhassen as the Music Director, leading the nine-person onstage band through this fun and poppy score. Tamara Kangas Erickson has once again created some infectious and highly energetic choreography (with flippers!), performed with enthusiasm by the ensemble. Scenic designer Nayna Ramey has brought the Greek islands to suburban Minnesota, and Rich Hamson has created a wardrobe so fun and summery that it makes one long for the days of wearing shorts and bathing suits.
|Sophie and Donna (Jessica Fredrickson and
Kersten Rodau, photo by Tom Wallace)
Mamma Mia! continues at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres through the awakening of spring, the heat of summer, and the beginning of fall as the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to fall. But regardless of the weather outside, it will continue to be a fun and breezy beach resort on the stage, with a message of love, family, and female friendship.
*Plot summary borrowed from what I wrote about the Ordway production last year.