‘Mamma Mia’ holds quick stop at Starlight



FINAL CHANCE for KC Dancing Queens to See the Smash-Hit Musical Based on ABBA Songs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. After 15 unforgettable years of entertaining audiences across North America, the national tour ofMAMMA MIA! says farewell to the road next month. Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus’ smash-hit musical MAMMA MIA!returns to Starlight Theatre for one weekend only – Friday, June 23 through Sunday, June 25.

Starlight is among the last U.S. theatres to present the ABBA-solutely, fabulously fun show. Local audience members will add to the tally of 60 million people worldwide who have enjoyed MAMMA MIA! in 50 productions and 16 different languages since it debuted in London in 1999. The current farewell tour marks the seventh time MAMMA MIA! has played in Kansas City, including previous runs at Starlight during the 2009 and 2011 Broadway seasons.

“There are so many reasons I love this musical, and I’m honored that Starlight can bring MAMMA MIA! to its Kansas City fans one more time,” said Starlight President and CEO Rich Baker. “This show is all about the music. Its story cleverly meshes with the music and lyrics of ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus – mostly in a tongue-in-cheek way – and lets the music shine through!”

MAMMA MIA! is one of the most successful musicals of all time, the eighth-longest running show in Broadway history, and one of only five musicals to have played for more than 10 years on Broadway (October 2001-September 2015). The show originated in London’s West End in 1999 and continues there today.

Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs from “Dancing Queen” and “S.O.S.” to “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me,” MAMMA MIA! is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends and new family found.

The musical tells the story of an independent, single mother, Donna Sheridan, who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek island. Donna is about to let go of Sophie, the spirited daughter she’s raised alone. For Sophie’s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends – practical and no-nonsense Rosie and wealthy multi-divorcee Tanya – from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Donna, Sophie has invited three guests of her own. On a quest to find the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle, Sophie brings back three men from Donna’s past to the Mediterranean paradise they visited 20 years earlier. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love blooms and old romances are rekindled on a lush island full of possibilities.

Leading the Farewell Tour’s cast of 30 is Betsy Padamonsky as “Donna Sheridan,” the independent single mother whose carefree past catches up with her on the eve of her daughter’s wedding. Bride-to-be “Sophie Sheridan” and her fiancé “Sky” are played by Lizzie Markson and Dustin Harris Smith, respectively.

Sarah Smith (Rosie) and Cashelle Butler (Tanya) are Donna’s best friends and former back-up band members who reunite with their best friend on the island for Sophie’s wedding. The three men from Donna’s past and Sophie’s possible dads are Shai Yammanee (Sam Carmichael), Marc Cornes (Bill Austin) and Andrew Tebo (Harry Bright).

The original production of MAMMA MIA! was produced by Judy Craymer, Richard East and Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal. With music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, MAMMA MIA! is written by Catherine Johnson and directed by Phyllida Lloyd. MAMMA MIA! has choreography by Anthony Van Laast, production design by Mark Thompson, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce and Bobby Aitken, and musical supervision, additional material and arrangements by Martin Koch.

Tickets for MAMMA MIA! at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $14 to $127. Tickets are available online atwww.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132.  All performances begin at 8 p.m.

Discount prices for groups of 10 or more are available. For information about group pricing, contact group sales coordinator Camille Sumrall at 816.997.1137 or groups@kcstarlight.com.

For more information about the Farewell Tour of MAMMA MIA!, visit www.mammamiaontour.com.

About Starlight Theatre
Starlight Theatre, a recent winner of the Venue Excellence Award from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in Kansas City and the second-largest outdoor producing theatre in the country. Opened as a theater in 1950 and as a not-for-profit organization in 1951, Starlight presents and produces Broadway musicals and concerts. It also offers extensive community outreach and educational programming, including classes, scholarships and Starlight’s Blue Star Awards, one of the largest high school musical theatre award programs in the nation.

Located on 16 acres in Swope Park, Starlight’s venue includes rehearsal halls, gift store, club area for dining, concessions, gardens, fountains and a 10-story, climate-controlled stage.  For more information, visit www.kcstarlight.com.

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