Memorable “Mamma Mia”

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Memorable “Mamma Mia”

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It was really great being able to portray such a strong iconic woman on the stage. Donna is a free spirited individual and never afraid to speak her mind. I think she’s a real inspiration to the young women of this generation!”

— senior Veronica Papianni

The 2019 DMAE musical “Mamma Mia” was memorable for many reasons, but without a doubt the production was heartwarming and heartfelt because of the love and talent two sisters brought to the stage: seniors Veronica and Zoe Papianni. As mother and daughter in the show, they brought the care of each other to the relationship of the characters and created unmatched authenticity in their performances. Thus, the sweet tone of the production was set and the show that followed rose to a level of talent Englewood has come to expect from DMAE.

“Zoe and Veronica Papianni set a high bar regarding all aspects of theater and I was fortunate to have them be part of our productions for all four years. They helped to establish a culture of hard work and family in our theater. It was wonderful to have a show in which they could both be featured! They were both so amazing,” said Sandy Meltzer, music teacher and the Music Director of “Mamma Mia.”

“Mamma Mia” performances were held Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019,  and Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. All the excitement and great reviews from Thursday night led to an even greater turnout on Friday, one of the largest audiences in recent history. The audience filled the entire bottom seating area of Bergen PAC. The show lasted approximately three hours with one intermission during which students, parents, alumni and teachers mingled and discussed the upbeat show. Approximately 28 students acted in the show and four students managed the logistics as stage managers.

“Mamma Mia” is the story of a young woman’s desire to include her father in her wedding, and to even have him walk her down the aisle. However, Sophie, played by Zoe Pappiani, doesn’t know who her father is, so she invites three men from her past, all men that could be her father. Sophie’s mom, Donna, played by Veronica Pappiani, an independent woman who raised Sophie on her own doesn’t know that Sophie invited her old boyfriends. In the end, Sophie and her fiance Sky, played by Evan Lopez, don’t get married. However, Donna and her former boyfriend Sam, played by Joey Liberti, who still loves Donna and believes he is Sophie’s father, do marry.

“I’ve been in the school musical every year and ‘Mamma Mia’ has definitely been one of my favorites. It was really great being able to portray such a strong iconic woman on the stage. Donna is a free spirited individual and never afraid to speak her mind. I think she’s a real inspiration to the young women of this generation!” exclaimed Veronica.

Many songs in the production are popular, such as the title song “Mamma Mia” or “Dancing Queen,” but the student performances made other songs unforgettable. When Sophie and Donna, (Zoe and Veronica) sang “Slipping Through My Fingers,” the emotion was real, and when Sophie and Sky (Zoe and Evan) sang “ Lay All Your Love on Me,” their young love was infectious. Finally, the wild throw-back performance of Donna and the Dynamos with the song “Super Trouper” by Donna, Rosie, played by Aiyannah Lewis, and Tanya, played by Sascha Kaplan, saw all three singers give the song their all.

“The show was a true success! Our cast was so bonded that there was hardly any tension between us and this led to a great overall performance. I found this experience worth committing to even though I joined the cast after they started,” Joey Liberti said.

At the end, the performers sang “Thank You for the Music” to Ms. Meltzer, and flowers were given to Ms. Meltzer, Director Jane Keitel and Choreographer Nikki Manx.

All photos were taken by Brian Lee (Class of 2020), Web Administrator.

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