Live theater has finally returned to the Georgetown Palace Theater with a bang.
The historic Georgetown Palace Theatre, perched just off the square since 1925, remains a strong and beloved beacon of light for this supportive community, just north of Austin.
The celebration can be heard far and wide at the post-COVID maiden voyage of Mamma Mia!, running through August 8. Mamma Mia! is a shining example of local talent and passion, as the cast is an ensemble of multiple generations working to create a stellar community show directed by Mary Ellen Butler.
Many are familiar with this musical, featuring 22 popular 1970s hits from the hit Swedish band ABBA. Whether you fell for the original songs or the movie rendition that made all of us swoon over the gorgeous Greece landscapes, audiences are having a blast singing and dancing in their seats to this lively production!
Plot Lines: Wedding Day Intrigue
Conceived by Judy Craymer and based on the book by Catherine Johnson, this story centers around the young bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan (played by 17-year-old Berkley Landreth) on a somewhat frantic quest to find her birth father in time to walk her down the aisle. After some wild and promiscuous times as a young local rock star, the bride’s mother Donna (played by Wendy Zavaleta) remained on the Greek island where she single-handedly raised her daughter, while managing a hotel. Donna’s former bandmates and best friends return for the wedding, with a few other surprise guests in a secretive twist orchestrated by Sophie before her big day.
From the opening scene with “I Have a Dream” belted out by the young and talented Landreth as Sophie, to the final celebration on stage (not giving away any spoilers here), this is a fun, uplifting performance that audience members will enjoy with their family and friends.
Thank You for the Music
Other highlights of the Palace performance include “Dancing Queen” featuring former bandmates Rosie (played by Patty Rowell), Tanya (played by Michelle Cheney) and Donna, reminiscing about their younger days as “Donna and the Dynamos,” while enthusiastically showing off their best moves and vocals 20 years later. Also performed by Donna and her besties, along with Sophie and the girls at the bachelorette party, “Super Trouper” is a sweet melodic celebration of friendship and love.
Talent and hilarity ensue with “Voulez-Vous,” featuring Sophie’s fiancé Sky (played by LJ Salinas) with his buddies Eddie (played by Keyshaan Castle) and Pepper (played by Sean Ryan Moran) as the life of the pre-wedding party. The emotional hit “The Winner Takes It All” comes to life with powerful vocals by Zavaleta (as Donna), in her moment of exasperation and defeat. Rosie and Bill (played by Matt McCullough) take the stage with “Take a Chance on Me,” earning belly laughs in one of the most humorous and fun-loving scenes of the show. Led by Landreth’s pitch-perfect, angelic voice, Sophie pulls the company together on stage for a feel-good finale that lifts spirits and leaves audiences feeling warm and joyful.
Voulez-Vous to the Theater
The bottom line is that you just can’t not be happy watching and listening to Mamma Mia!, and this Georgetown Palace performance is no exception. Check into a Sunday matinee at 2 pm or a 7:30 pm evening performance on Fridays and Saturdays through August 8th, and re-check for added performances. Get your tickets now, because shows have been selling out due to high demand.
Summer & Fall Shows
Remaining shows featured on the main Springer Stage and smaller Playhouse Stage of the non-profit Georgetown Palace for the 2020-21 Season include Boeing, Boeing (7/25-8/22), The Marvelous Wonderettes (8/20-9/12), Lost in Yonkers (9/3-10/3), and “Clear to Partly Crazy Starring Jaston Williams (9/17-19).
With only 290 seats in the main Springer Theater, and typically selling 270 seats per show, the venue is intimate with great seats from floor to balcony. Currently, the theater is at full capacity. Masks are not required for fully vaccinated patrons and strongly encouraged for those who are not vaccinated. Programs are now digital, for a more environmentally friendly and “touch-free” experience. More details for updated theatre protocols can be found on the website.
New Season Coming Soon
The 2021-2022 season includes 16 shows beginning in October with Grease, taking it back to the ‘50s with this crowd pleaser. Flex Passes are available online for ticket packages. With a line-up including Elf for the holidays, followed by Hairspray, The Wizard of Oz, and Singing in the Rain, don’t miss reserving your seats and marking your calendars early.
Cover photo courtesy Georgetown Palace Theatre