‘Mamma Mia’ hits the stage July 21 in Rockford

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Players dive to save the ball during play at the Mud Volleyball Tournament for Epilepsy in Kelly Meyers Park in Roscoe last year.

Staff photos by Clint Wolf

ROCKFORD — The sound of ABBA is set to hit the stage July 21-23 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., with the production of “Mamma Mia.”

With songs like “Dancing Queen,” “I Have a Dream,” “Voulez-Vous” and “Take a Chance on Me,” the Broadway musical has been touring the United States and is making a stop in Rockford for three nights only.

Cast member Kittra Wynn Coomer, who plays Rosie, said the production is high energy and a lot of fun.

“It’s an absolute blast,” she said. “The energy is crazy all the time. It’s like going to a rock concert. The audience hoots and hollers.”

Coomer landed the role through an open call audition in Las Vegas around two years ago. She was then called a week later to try out in front of the New York staff.

“It was a fairly quick process,” she said. “I was lucky that it fell into line.”

Coomer said although “Mamma Mia” has been touring for seven years, the current cast has only been together for the last 18 months.

The show opened in London in 1999 and has since been on stages across the world.

The musical’s description says “on the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the Greek island paradise they last visited 20 years ago.”

The story becomes easy to follow with the help of popular songs by ABBA.

Coomer said it was sort of easy to learn the songs for the production.

“You go in feeling like you already know them because of their popularity,” she said.

Some songs were harder than others for Coomer to learn — mostly because of harmonies. Her favorite songs are the ones sung by the men in the cast.

“You’re so used to hearing a woman’s voice associated with ABBA,” she said. “It’s nice to hear a raspy, males voice.”

She said her favorite song in the performance is “Knowing Me, Knowing You.”

Although the entire production in entertaining, Coomer said her favorite part is the “Dancing Queen” finale.

“The whole ensemble is out there,” she said. “The audience is standing and dancing. It’s the pinnacle of the evening.”

Coomer said the cast is like one great family that really has a lot of fun on stage.

“I have people all the time ask me if we are really having that much fun,” she said. “We absolutely are. We have a ball. We are definitely having as much fun as it looks like.”

Admission to the performances range in amounts from $36.50-$61.50.

For more information, call 815-968-2722.

Teammates rinse off a layer of mud between games in the creek at Kelly Meyers Park during the Mud Volleyball Tournament for Epilepsy in 2008.

 

Kittra Wynn Coomer, Rachel Tyler and Michelle Dawson perform “Mamma Mia” during the United States Tour. The production is set to begin at Coronado Performing Arts Center on July 21.

Photo courtesy of Carol Rosegg

 

Jakob Sulouff gives a smile as he plays in the mud while his mother plays mud volleyball during the Mud Volleyball Tournament for Epilepsy last year.

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