Mamma Mia at Plano’s Courtyard Theater Brings Electric Chemistry to Hit Musical

by Christian Welch on October 22, 2018 in Entertainment, Theatre, Living Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth,

If Mamma Mia 2 reignited your love for the classic musical (or maybe it just reminded you how great the original was), you can get your fix at the Courtyard Theater in Plano from October 19-28.

Brick Road Theatre may be smaller than some Dallas-area companies, but the production quality and seasoned cast hold their own. It’s worth a trek to the ‘burbs to see what talent lies just a half-hour drive outside the city.

What makes this production special are the real-life bonds between the cast members. It creates a kind of chemistry that even the most seasoned actors can’t achieve.

Seasoned actresses Patty Breckenridge, Cara Statham Serber and Sara Shelby-Martin as Donna and the Dynamos lead a strong ensemble cast in Brick Road Theatre’s production of Mamma Mia! at the Courtyard Theater in Plano from October 19-28. Courtesy photo

Seasoned actresses Patty Breckenridge, Cara Statham Serber and Sara Shelby-Martin as Donna and the Dynamos lead a strong ensemble cast. Katharine Quinn takes on a brand new challenge tackling both directing and choreographing the show’s 28 musical numbers.

“It’s a deceptively difficult show to assemble…and it is quite the beast to build,” says Quinn. “I am grateful to have an enormously talented and prepared cast.”

There are countless productions of Mamma Mia including a hit movie, so why go see this one?

“Our Dynamos are real-life old friends,” says Quinn. “You can’t buy or manufacture that chemistry!”

Mamma Mia! is the worldwide phenomenon featuring hit songs by ABBA.
Photo Jason Anderson, Pendleton Photography

Mamma Mia, from its inception, was meant to be a show that allowed patrons to forget their troubles and be immersed in a few hours of fun, joy and friendship. It first debuted after 9/11 and offered a little reprieve from the chaos and gloom that fell over the country. Today, many of us can still use an escape to a Grecian Island set to the upbeat tunes of ABBA.

While the show centers around a young girl’s search for her father, female friendship is the heart and sole of this production. In today’s political climate, women finding solace amongst each other seems as relevant now as it did for Donna and the Dynamos. Even the actresses were inspired by the women in their lives.

“I find inspiration in an art instructor that I’ve painted with – she’s independent, quirky, smart, creative, and funny,” says Sara Shelby-Martin, who plays Rosie. “And also, my oldest, dearest girlfriends from my high school and college years – we were JUST like the Dynamos, and every time we see each other, we pick up right where we left off!”

Mamma Mia! writer Catherine Johnson’s heart-warming tale centers around Sophie, a young bride-to-be.
Photo Jason Anderson, Pendleton Photography

Leading actress Patty Breckenridge is inspired by the women she shares the stage with.

“The most fun part about being in this show is getting back onstage with two of my long-time friends, singing this music together and all the laughter behind the scenes,” says Breckenridge.

Mamma Mia! is the latest production from Brick Road Theatre, which performs at the Courtyard Theatre in Plano.
Photo Jason Anderson, Pendleton Photography

Like any show, Mamma Mia doesn’t come without it’s challenges. When asked what the most challenging part of being in the show was, the cast said:

“Realizing some of the lyrics I have been singing for years are actually NOT the right lyrics and nowhere close to what the actual lyrics are.”~ Patty Breckenridge

Nothing other than my aging body – Katherine is a heckuva choreographer and my quads don’t like her very much right now!”~ Sara Shelby-Martin

Mamma Mia runs at the Courtyard Theater (1509 H Ave in Plano) from October 19-28. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2:30 pm. Tickets cost $30 and can be purchased at the Box Office or at brickroadtheatre.org.

Cover photo: The finale of Mamma Mia! Photo Jason Anderson, Pendleton Photography


Native Dallasite Christian Welch is a journalist, foodie and avid theater patron. She enjoys cooking for friends, playing with her cat and exploring the best Dallas has to offer.