Monthly Archives: April 2012

Backstage at Mamma Mia!

We were lucky enough to get an all-access tour of the backstage world of Mamma Mia! before Thursday night’s performance at the Orpheum Theatre.  BJ Forman, the Production Stage Manager, met us at the stage door and gave us an up-close and personal look at the set, the iconic costumes, and the technical pieces of the show.  Enjoy this backstage photo tour of Mamma Mia!

Here is a view from the side of the stage looking behind the set.  Tables and chairs are ready to go for the next scene change when the set spins around.

Here is a close-up look at the Donna and the Dynamos chest that Rosie and Tanya find under the bed when they move into their room.  A Mamma Mia tour member was kind enough to let us look inside!  You will recognize the pink boa, the poster, and Rosie’s old outfit that doesn’t quite fit anymore.  You can also see all the pictures glued to the inside that are otherwise less visible from the audience.

BJ showed us Harry’s outfit for the grand finale of the show.  The entire suit is handmade down to every little glittery star.  One thing many people don’t notice is that each couple has a matching belt buckle design at the end of the show.  Harry and Tanya have the diamond shape, Donna and Sam have an oval, and Rosie and Bill have a triangle.

If there is only one person on stage during a song, then where are those other singing voices coming from?  The answer is backstage.  This picture shows one of the vocal booths used by the backup singers behind the set.  The booth has a monitor that shows a view of the stage along with a schedule for when the singers need to be present.

This is one of the hair stations backstage.  There is one full-time hairdresser for the show.  Tanya is the only character that wears a wig during this production.

BJ’s control booth sits just off the side of the stage.  He has multiple monitor views of the stage and headset in order to give proper cues for lighting and other technical aspects of the show.

Mamma Mia! is showing at the Oprheum Theatre through Sunday, April 29 and tickets are available for every performance.  Visit our site.

Student Rush Policy for Mamma Mia!  Rush tickets are $20 cash only, limit 2 tickets per valid student/educator school ID and will go on-sale two hours prior to each performance. Subject to availability. The re-sale of rush tickets is strictly prohibited.  The sale of rush tickets is subject to availability and depends on the inventory for each performance. No rush tickets will be available for the Saturday, 4/28 8:00pm show. In the event of a sell-out, rush tickets will not be available.

SpotLight Master Class: Kathleen Turner

Kathleen Turner with SpotLight Alum John Neumann.

“Kathleen Turner was unbelievable- she made me think intelligently about my work as an actor, and make me laugh just as hard as an onlooker!” John Neumann, 2009 Maple Grove High School graduate and Kathleen Turner Master Class Participant.

On Friday, four former students in our SpotLight Musical Theatre Program and a Minneapolis professional actor received the opportunity to participate in a master class with legendary actress Kathleen Turner. Held at the New Century Theatre, the students were coached through two monologues by the two-time Golden Globe Award-winner.

“I learned so much just from listening to every detail she picked out of each monologue,” said Neumann, who participated in several musicals during his high school career and performed pieces from The 26 Year Old Bar Mitzvah Boy and The Will Rogers Follies at the master class. “Thanks to the Trust and the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program for making it possible!” Emily Picardi from Andover High School, Sharayah Bunce from Maple Grove High School and Logan Green from Park High School also participated in the master class along with soon-to-be Children’s Theatre Company Apprentice Adam Qualls.

SpotLight evaluator and teaching artist Robie Hayek attended the workshop and was thrilled to be in the presence of such a consummate professional.

“It was great to hear and be reminded about the elements that an actor can easily overlook and take for granted,” said Hayek. “Slowing down, train of thought, separating ideas and thoughts to create the character arc.”

Now in its seventh successful year, the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program is our flagship educational initiative that honors, supports and advocates for Minnesota high school musical theatre students and programs.  As a part of the SpotLight program, current and former students are invited to participate in master class and workshop opportunities with touring cast members. If you are a SpotLight alumni, please join us and stay connected to learn about future opportunities. For more information or to sign up, simply visit us online.