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Press contact: Kathy Kahn, email@example.com, 510-418-8523
Theater contact: Harriet Schlader, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-531-9597
Website: Woodminster Summer Musicals
What: Mamma Mia! based on the music of ABBA
Presented by: Woodminster Summer Musicals by Producers Associates, Inc.
When: 8 pm on July 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 2017
Where: Woodminster Amphitheater, Joaquin Miller Park, Joaquin Miller Road at upper Sanborn Drive, Oakland
Tickets: 510-531-9597 or www.woodminster.com or at the box office before any performance
Woodminster Summer Musicals Opens 51st Season July 7 With Mamma Mia!
Production is Bay Area Regional Premiere of International Smash Hit ABBA Musical
June 16, 2017, Oakland, CA -- Producers Associates announces that the opening show of the 51st season of the Woodminster Summer Musicals is Mamma Mia! This popular musical will be performed July 7-16 at Woodminster Amphitheater in Oakland's Joaquin Miller Park, located on Joaquin Miller Road at upper Sanborn Drive in the Oakland hills. According to Music Theatre International, Woodminster’s production is the Bay Area regional theater premiere of Mamma Mia!
Mamma Mia! follows the adventures of Sophie, a young woman who, before her own wedding, wants to discover the identity of her father. Her mother, Donna, has never been forthcoming, so Sophie secretly invites three men from her mother’s past to her own wedding, on the sunny Greek island where she was conceived twenty years ago. Mamma Mia! is packed with upbeat ABBA songs including “Dancing Queen,” “Super Trouper,” “Gimme Gimme Gimme,” and “Take a Chance On Me.”
Says director Joel Schlader, “Mamma Mia is a really lighthearted show, and it’s going to be a very fun way to start the season. The music is so upbeat and infectious that even people who aren’t ABBA fans and don’t have a fond memory of disco music will dance their way out of the theater. And the story is very funny and appealing, and even has something to say about generations in families, especially mothers and daughters. Everybody is going to have a great time at Mamma Mia!”
Tickets are available by phone, at 510-531-9597, online at www.woodminster.com, or in person at Woodminster Amphitheater 11-4 daily or at the box office before any performance. Performances are July 7 (opening), July 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, and 16, all at 8 p.m.
Tickets for summer musicals at Woodminster Amphitheater range from $31 to $64, with a $2 discount for seniors 62 and older. Since its founding over 50 years ago, one of Producers Associates’ missions has been to make live theater affordable for families in the local community, and the organization offers many ticket discount programs with that in mind. They include:
• Season tickets and flex passes (about a 15% discount)
• Group rate 25+ (about half price, specific performances)
• Group rate 12+ (about 15% off, any performance)
• Oakland residents (about half price, opening night of each show)
• Millennials 17-30 (about half price, at the door any performance)
• Kids Come Free (up to 16 yrs, 1 free with 1 paying adult, at the door any performance)
• K75 (up to 16 yrs, about 75% off, 5 discounted kids with 1 paying adult, pre-sales okay, any performance)
("About half price" indicates half price adjusted for the city facility fee of $2.50 per ticket.)
For information about tickets, and details about discount programs, check www.woodminster.com or call 510-531-9597.
Mamma Mia! will be directed by Joel Schlader, with music direction by Daniel Thomas and choreography by Jody Jaron. Woodminster shows are performed with live orchestras, and musicians are members of Musicians Local No. 6.
The role of Donna will be played by Joy Sherratt, Bay Area actor and co-founder of Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre, who was most recently on the Woodminster stage as Cathy in 2009’s Singin’ In The Rain. Her best friends Tanya and Rosie are played by Leandra Ramm and Krista Wigle. The three men who might be Sophie’s father are played by Geoffrey Blaisdell, Dwight Mahabir, and Robert Moorhead. The latter two men have performed at Woodminster many times, most recently for Mahabir the role of Billy Flynn in 2016’s Chicago and for Moorhead the role of Frank Abagnale Sr. in 2014’s Catch Me If You Can. The inquisitive Sophie is played by Amanda Farbstein, and her fiancé Sky is played by Romar De Claro, last seen at Woodminster as Ta in 2014’s Flower Drum Song. The full cast, including both professional (AEA member) actors and talented local community members, numbers 36.
Mamma Mia! was written by Catherine Johnson, a British playwright who was inspired by the 1968 film Buona Sera Mrs. Campbell, as well as the songs of Swedish pop group ABBA. The title is taken from the group’s 1975 #1 hit, and the original ABBA composers and band members, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, were involved in the project during all stages. Mamma Mia originally opened on London’s West End in 1999, and has been running ever since, to date more than 7000 performances and 8 million audience members. The 2001 Broadway production opened “out of town” in San Francisco and also did try-outs in Los Angeles and Chicago before its official Broadway opening. Once in New York, it ran for 14 years and nearly 6000 performances.
Mamma Mia! has been called a global entertainment phenomenon. The show has had professional productions in over 400 cities and has been seen by over 60 million people worldwide. With US regional theater licensing just recently available, that number is sure to increase rapidly.
After Mamma Mia! the 51st season of the Woodminster Summer Musicals will continue with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific August 4-13 and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast September 1-10.
Over the last 51 years, Producers Associates has presented 160 productions, entertaining about a million Woodminster Summer Musicals ticket holders. The shows have been performed by more than 5000 actors, over 20% of them members of Actors Equity Association, making the organization one of the Bay Area's most reliable employers of professional actors. The musicals have always been performed with live professional orchestras, which have included 23 different conductors and over 1800 members of Musicians Local #6. In addition, the organization has employed 26 professional set designers, 17 lighting designers, 25 costume designers, 6 sound technicians, 18 choreographers, 6 directors, and over 1,500 young backstage interns.
Woodminster Summer Musicals are performed under the stars at Woodminster Amphitheater, an open-air performance facility in Joaquin Miller Park high in the Oakland Hills. The park's spectacular views and serene woodsy environment made it the perfect setting for the amphitheater, cascades, reflecting pool, and paths that were originally built as a WPA project in 1939-40. For many East Bay families, it is a long-standing summer tradition to enjoy a picnic in the park and then see a musical at Woodminster. For more information about the 2017 season or the history of the organization, visit www.woodminster.com.
Kathy Kahn, Publicity & Marketing
Woodminster Summer Musicals
Producers Associates, Inc.
Joy Sherratt* (center) plays Donna Sheridan, mother of the inquisitive Sophie, in Woodminster’s Mamma Mia! Performing "Super Trouper" with her are her best friends (and back-up singers) Tanya (L) played by Leandra Ramm* and Rosie (R) played by Krista Wigle*. (*member of Actors Equity Association. Photo by Kathy Kahn.) Click on the photo to retrieve a print resolution version.