The Nanaimo District Secondary School musical theatre program presents Mamma Mia! at the Port Theatre. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo District Secondary School presenting ‘Mamma Mia!’ at the Port Theatre

Musical is built around songs by Swedish ’70s pop group ABBA

The Nanaimo District Secondary School musical theatre program is bringing a musical based on ’70s pop songs to the Port Theatre stage.

On Feb. 26 and 27 NDSS presents Mamma Mia!, the 1999 musical composed entirely of music by ABBA that follows a woman who invites three of her mother’s ex-lovers to her wedding to find out which one is her father.

Musical theatre teacher Martha Parker is directing and producing the show. She said she chose Mamma Mia! for this year’s musical because the music is uplifting and familiar.

“Everyone seems to know the lyrics,” she said. “I was surprised that even my students, when I brought the music in, that they knew the melodies to the songs.”

Parker said around 100 students from Grade 8 to 12 are involved in the show as members of the cast, crew and band, more than were in last year’s production of Beauty and the Beast.

She added that this is the second year that they’ve had live music. The band is made up of four students and three professional musicians. Parker said the live band is an important part of the show.

“It’s how musical theatre is meant to be,” she said. “And the excitement of having an orchestra just brings the whole event to life and it adds the other element that we were missing.”

WHAT’S ON … The Nanaimo District Secondary School musical theatre program presents Mamma Mia! at the Port Theatre, 125 Front St., on Feb. 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. Tickets $20, available at the Port Theatre box office and NDSS.

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