Mira Costa’s ‘Mamma Mia’ Makes Its Mark

MBMS students rush to watch a production put on by local high school students

Mira Costa High School hosted a performance of the musical ‘Mamma Mia’ during the end of April. This production first showed up on stage in the late 1990s and has been a big hit ever since. ‘Mamma Mia’ contains uplifting music, energetic dancing, and is great for all ages.

Photo Courtesy of Mira Costa Drama

Set in the 1990s, ‘Mamma Mia’ follows the story of a girl named Sophie while she tries to find out who her dad is by connecting to some of her mother’s old boyfriends before her wedding day. She does this in order to have someone to walk her down the aisle on her big day. A lot of students at MBMS showed their support for Mira Costa’s drama program by attending the performance.

The cast performed in a total of 8 different performances between April 21st and April 29th. Penelope Pean said, “the characters were very experienced and I could tell that it took a lot of rehearsal.” “I could really see the hard work and dedication of the actors,” Jack Ingram said.

The music in this performance was written by a group called ABBA who was popular in the 1970s. The cast worked together with Mira Costa orchestra students in order to recreate these songs.

The story is set in the Greek islands which have a very unique and recognizable style of architecture. The stage crew worked to create a background that included scenery that made the audience feel like they were really immersed in the play. “I found the play very touching because it really connected me to the Greek side of my ancestry. I could reminisce with all of the Santorini style buildings in the background and I felt like I saw part of myself in the play,” Hudson Tang said.

Since the original ‘Mamma Mia’ performance was so popular, it was made into a movie in 2008. Some

Photo Courtesy of Mira Costa Drama

students who attended the Mira Costa performance were disappointed with its differences from the movie. Lili Shaer said, “I didn’t like how they added songs that weren’t included in the movie.”

Overall, most who attended the play really enjoyed it. The performance left the audience wanting more. “If I could, I would make the play longer so I could enjoy it even more,” said Jack Ingram.

The talent of the cast and crew seemed obvious to the people who attended. Hudson Tang thought that “the acting was very fluid and the songs were stupendous.”

Although it may have seemed effortless on stage, the director of the play, Jonathan Westerberg, wrote “during any given number, there are as many as 30 cast members crowded in the wings and in the orchestra pit singing backing vocals.” The many voices added together created harmony. Julia Fetters said, “I loved the play because I thought that the singers’ voices were amazing!”

Photo Courtesy of Mira Costa Drama

A lot of work goes into a production like this and many people contribute behind the scenes. Many students worked together to make sure that the play ran smoothly. From the director’s note: “we have a crew of over 30 students who handle all production tasks from stage management, board ops, props, ushers, costumes, hair and makeup, publicity, stage crew, and spot operators.”

All of these elements blended together to make a smooth production for the audience to enjoy. Weston Davidson said, ”the transitions were really good and the scenes flowed together nicely.” This made the story easy for the audience to follow and understand the plot.

Many students also really appreciated the costumes that characters wore in the play. “My favorite

Photo Courtesy of Mira Costa Drama

element of the play was Tanya’s costumes,” said Penelope Pean. “I liked them because they represented her character’s personality very well.” The costumes that the actors wore in this production were not only pleasing to the eye, but they also helped the audience understand the personalities of different characters.

The Manhattan Beach community really came together to support the Mira Costa Drama program. The shows were well attended and the actors received a lot of support from the audience. It attracted people of many different ages and appealed to lots of different audiences. Jack Ingram said, “I could really see a sense of community coming together all rallying behind the Costa production.”