GREENFIELD — As the Swedish band ABBA famously sings…“Mamma mia, here we go again!”
Greenfield-Central High School is presenting the hit stage musical, “Mamma Mia!” this week, with four performances May 4-7.
The drama department is following in the footsteps of Mt. Vernon and New Palestine high schools, which each presented the musical last November.
The hit musical made its debut in London in 1999 and opened in the United States the following year. Over 65 million people have since seen the show, which has grossed $4 billion worldwide.
A film adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried was released in 2008.
According to Broadway.com, “Mamma Mia!” tells the story of a young bride’s quest to discover her father’s identity by inviting three men from her mother’s past to her Greek island wedding.
The musical was written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on songs recorded by ABBA and composed by two members of the band who helped develop the show from the beginning.
ABBA’s greatest hits are woven into the warm-hearted comedic tale, which features such hits as “Take a Chance on Me,” “Super Trouper” and “Dancing Queen.”
The title song also made big waves, reaching number one in the UK Singles Chart in January 1976, making it the second of ABBA’s 18 consecutive Top 10 singles to land there.
As Record World magazine stated at the time, “the reason (the song “Mamma Mia!” is a worldwide smash) should be self-explanatory after just one listen.”
Greenfield-Central drama teacher Kristen Newlin said her students have been having a blast belting out tunes that still pass the cool-factor even though they first topped the chart in the 1970s.
“The kids have worked so hard to put on a great show,” said Newlin, who took over the drama department at the high school at the start of spring break after former teacher Carolyn Voigt resigned.
Newlin gives credit to the show’s choreographer, Elizabeth Orr, for taking over direction of the musical during the transition.
“She’s created an amazing show,” said Newlin, who also credits technical director Dennis Cole and choir teacher Paul Grizzard for helping the kids create a fun musical production.
“The drama department is great. It is full of amazing kids who love what they do, and they have an awesome team of adults behind them,” said Newlin, who previously worked as a substitute teacher in Johnson County.
Newlin herself has performed in plays and musicals since her freshman year in high school, so she jumped at the chance to lead the drama department at Greenfield-Central.
“My love for theater in high school is what pushed me to pursue that in college, where I got to experience all sides of theater, from being on the stage to behind the stage,” she said.
Newlin said that theater teaching positions are “very few and far between,” so she was thrilled to see a position open up at a school like Greenfield-Central, which she said has an amazing drama department.
She’s also excited to help usher in the school’s new auditorium, which is now in development and set to premier sometime in 2024.
“The new auditorium is going to be amazing. I think it will be an awesome new place to put on some great shows,” she said.
“Mamma Mia!” hits the Greenfield-Central stage starting Thursday, May 4 with performances at 7 p.m. May 4-6 plus a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 7.
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students, and can be purchased at the door and online at GCmusic.ludus.com.