IN THE SPOTLIGHT: “The Winner Takes It All” – a quick trip to the Greek islands with MAMMA MIA!

I always know Wright State University’s Department of Theatre, Dance, & Motion Picture will deliver top-notch products with any show I attend but when director/choreographer Greg Hellems’ is at the helm, along with Pam Lavarnway on scenic design and Matt Benjamin’s lighting design, The Acropolis is just another Grecian hill.

Today was such a treat!

My bonus-sister, Laura, and I had lunch at a Mexican restaurant across from Wright State’s campus, then we moved across the road to be greeted by a former student, David Emery, director of WSU’s box office, and by former student, senior musical theatre student Tommy Cole, serving as an usher. Our seats in Row K were incredible.

MAMMA MIA was energetic and fun. My former student, Ana Smith was Rosie Mulligan and knocked “Take A Chance on Me” off the island and back onto the mainland at Cape Sounion, tipping the Temple of Poseidon onto a new angle. All the ingredients of a great show were present and used beautifully.

In January 2019, I sat in front of Pam and John Larvarnway at The Victoria Theatre as we prepared to watch Dayton’s Muse Machine’s production of MAMMA MIA. They described their planned June vacation to Greece where Pam would bask in scenic ideas for Wright State’s own production of MAMMA MIA that was scheduled for Spring 2020.

Sadly, the set pieces sat backstage awaiting their next call as the waves of the Covid quarantine settled upon us.

October/November 2021, those set pieces were finally recalled for production duty and Matthew Benjamin added a wonderful lighting design and plot that brought everything to a perfect picture. It was beautiful, throughout. The orchestra and crew kept the show energized and moving.

Following the show, I got to see a great theatre family, Jim & Ann Seybold and their eldest daughter, Beth Rush, and her darling daughters, Kate and Ava.

The big surprise was seeing my former student, Marisha Osowski, who traveled nearly two hours from Ohio Northern University where she is studying musical theatre, to cheer on Ana and the others.

Ahhh… spending time with Laura… seeing dear friends, the Seybolds and Rush ladies… seeing a fantastic show… seeing former students, David, Ana, Marisha, and Tommy… this is my kind of daily production.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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