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Chris Matthews poses for a photo at the Global Hub in Posvar Hall.
Chris Matthews: Inspiring language learners at home and abroad
By Anna Kuntz, Senior Staff Writer • April 22, 2024
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Review | ‘S.O.S!’: ‘Mamma Mia!’ delivers a spectacular show at the Benedum Center

The+Company+of+MAMMA+MIA%21+25th+Anniversary+Tour.
Photo by Joan Marcus | Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Company of MAMMA MIA! 25th Anniversary Tour.

Mamma Mia, here I go again! One of my all-time favorite musicals came to the stage of the Benedum Center in downtown Pittsburgh from March 26 through 31, so naturally, I couldn’t miss it. Presented by the Benedum Center, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh, “Mamma Mia!” brought audiences the iconic story of a mother, daughter and three potential dads at a Greek island wedding, told through the beloved tunes of ABBA. From the dancing to the singing, to the costumes and set design, this show was an ABBA-solute delight from start to finish.

The performance starred Christine Sherrill as Donna Sheridan and Alisa Melendez as Sophie Sheridan. Sherrill and Melendez were strong female leads, adeptly portraying the mother-daughter relationship between Donna and Sophie. However, for me, the dynamic duo of Donna’s friends Tanya and Rosie shone in every scene they were featured in. Tanya, played by Jalynn Steele, and Rosie, played by Carly Sakolove, captivated the audience with their performances, inserting humor and energy into their respective roles. Their onstage chemistry was outstanding — it was impossible not to smile whenever this duo took the stage.

As an ABBA enthusiast, the music has always been a highlight for me in Mamma Mia. The cast did an amazing job of bringing the beloved songs to life. Sherrill’s rendition of Donna’s “The Winner Takes It All” was a standout performance, mesmerizing the audience with her powerful vocals. Melendez’s “I Have a Dream” was also fantastic.

However, my favorite musical moments were the high-energy dance numbers. “Voulez-Vous” was an electric sendoff into intermission, showcasing the impressive dance talent of the cast with its fantastic choreography. “Lay All Your Love on Me” delivered sheer entertainment as the male cast members danced in diving suits and oversized flippers. Furthermore, Steele also shone as Tanya in her hilarious performance of “Does Your Mother Know” alongside Patrick Park as Pepper, which featured an epic dance battle between the two. 

The audience atmosphere at Benedum Center was highly enthusiastic and brought together fans of all ages. Many came dressed in Donna and the Dynamos jumpsuits or T-shirts or costumes reminiscent of those seen in the Mamma Mia movie. After the bows, the entire cast gave encore performances of “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo,” starring Donna and the Dynamos. The entire audience was on their feet dancing and singing along to the songs. 

In summary, the production and cast of this show were phenomenal, staying true to what makes this musical so great, while also adding their own flair. I had Mamma Mia songs stuck in my head for days after and did not mind one bit.

“Thank you for the music,” Benedum Center.

About the Contributor
Casey Carter, Senior Staff Writer
Casey Carter is a sophomore communications major with certificates in digital media and sustainability. She is a firm believer that a good walk can solve almost anything and loves the outdoors. In her free time, she also enjoys going to coffee shops, thrifting and watching movies with her roommates.