My regular readers know what a huge theatre fan I am. You can take the girl off the stage but you can never take the stage outta the girl. I’ve been blown away by every show I’ve seen at Brick Road Theatre and Mamma Mia! is no exception. In fact it’s so good, I saw it twice!
If you aren’t familiar with Mamma Mia!, the story is about twenty year-old Sophie (played by Morgan Maxey) who invites the three men she believes could be her dad to her wedding, unbeknownst to her mom, Donna. The jukebox musical takes place on a Greek island and is told through toe-tapping ABBA songs as hilarity ensues when Donna is confronted with the ghosts of boyfriends past. (Been there, girl.)
It’s a heartfelt show that’s great fun to watch and Brick Road Theatre pulled it off with flying colors. (Literally.) Beloved Dallas actress Patty Breckenridge came out of retirement for the starring role as Donna and I fear she’s ruined me for all future Donnas. She embodies the role perfectly alongside her best friends Tanya (Cara Statham Serber) and Sara Shelby-Martin (Rosie). Shelby-Martin got uproarious laughs for her lovable Rosie and Statham Serber was well cast as jet-setting Tanya. Together the trio were Friendship Goals singing their hearts out to ABBA’s Dancing Queen. One of my favorite lines in the whole show was Tanya telling Donna, who’s lamenting the trials of adulthood, to “grow back down again.”
Morgan Maxey gives her all to her portrayal of Sophie. She pours her heart into every scene with gut-wrenching emotion as she goes on the wild ride of figuring out who her dad is in time for her wedding. One of Maxey’s best moments is during the show’s haunting ending to act one, from Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! A Man After Midnight to Voulez-Vous, during which Sophie is torn between the three potential father figures at her bachelorette party. Maxey is in fine form making the audience feel her pain and confusion alongside her plucky sidekicks Caitlin Jones and Bethany Lorentzen.
I originally saw the film version of Mamma Mia! because of my love for Dominic Cooper, who plays Sophie’s fiancé Sky, and Dominic Cooper has nothing on Brick Road Theatre’s Matt Holmes. He is positively dreamy as Sky. I have an eye for spotting talent in actors – I predicted Eddie Redmayne would be a big deal back when he had five lines in The Other Boleyn Girl and he went on to win an Academy Award – and I’m telling you, Matt Holmes is One to Watch. His chemistry with Maxey is palpable. Their sexy duet Lay All Your Love on Me, which Holmes belted out with his crystal clear voice, had me fanning myself.
Mark Tam Quach stole the show for me as Eddie, one of Sky’s sidekicks, proving that there’s no such thing as a small part. He filled me with joy every time he was on stage! There isn’t a weak link in this cast, something I’m finding to be consistent with Brick Road Theatre. Every member of the ensemble is so immersed in their Greek adventure, they pull the audience right into the scene. I admittedly saw the show multiple times and was particularly taken with Taylor Owen’s performance on Friday night in the ensemble.
Brick Road gives 150% to every performance. I still talk about Brick Road’s production of Cabaret that I saw a year and a half ago, which is still one of the sexiest shows I’ve seen on stage. I fan girl’ed out on Tyler Jeffrey Adams, who played the emcee impeccably, when I saw him an event this year. The dancing in that show was noteworthy, as is the dancing in Mamma Mia! You won’t want to take your eyes off director Katharine Quinn’s impressive choreography, which really ought to be turned into a fitness class. I was exhausted thinking about the moves in the curtain call alone!
Janelle Lutz brought the whole production home with spot-on costumes. From the 90s-fabulous scrunchies to the vacation wear, Lutz had such a real take on the costumes, it was easily to feel like you were on a Greek isle for two hours and it was the vacation I needed.
Brick Road Theatre performs at The Courtyard Theatre in adorable downtown Plano, just north of Dallas. My friend Sylvia and I parked at the theatre early and walked through the charming park to have dinner at Fillmore Pub, where I ordered beer battered fish and chips. If you haven’t spent any time in Plano, be sure to get to Brick Road early enough for dinner or drinks. It’s the perfect way to spend a Friday night! For more information about Brick Road Theatre and upcoming shows, visit www.brickroadtheatre.org.
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Disclaimer: Brick Road Theatre is one of my PR clients. My PR business has no bearing on my content or views here on The Rose Table. Thoughts and opinions are my own.