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Monday, September 12, 2016

Paramount Theatre opens season with energetic "Mamma Mia!"


By ERIC SCHELKOPF

Full disclosure - I am not a fan of ABBA's music by any means.

But the strong performances and overwhelming energy of Paramount Theatre's version of "Mamma Mia!" won me over. Performances of the musical continue through Oct. 30.

For the uninitiated, "Mamma Mia!" - which features the music of ABBA - is the story of 20-year-old Sophie, who is planning her wedding. She finds her mom’s diary and reads about her love-filled summer 20 years before with three different men. Sophie is convinced one of them is her father, and she’s determined to find out who by inviting each of them to her wedding.

Many of the cast members are making their Paramount debut, including Amy Montgomery, who turns in a stunning performance as Sophie's mother, Donna Sheridan. Not only does she have the vocal chops for the role, she also displayed a rich emotional deftness in such numbers as "The Winner Takes It All."

Sara Sevigny, another newcomer to the Paramount stage, provides a welcome comic relief in her role as Rosie. That comedy is on full display in the number "Take a Chance on Me."



Not to be forgotten is the show's sparkling choreography and stunning scenery, a trademark of any Paramount production. And by the end of the show, the exuberance on stage spilled over to the audience as audience members joyfully sang along to ABBA songs.

With the Paramount season getting off to an impressive start, I eagerly look forward to the rest of the season, which includes Disney’s "The Little Mermaid," which runs from Nov. 23 to Jan. 8, 2017, "Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," which will run from Feb. 8 to March 19, 2017, and "Jesus Christ Superstar," set to run from April 19 to May 28, 2017.

Tickets are available by going to Paramount's website at www.paramountaurora.com.