Sunday, December 16, 2018
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20181128 VMHS Mamma Mia JB 5One of Broadway’s longest-running musicals, “Mamma Mia” is now coming to Mission under the direction of Mission Veterans Memorial High School drama director James Hodgson. The VMHS Harlequins are producing the show with show dates set for Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1, 6, 7 and 8 at the Veterans Memorial High School Performing Arts Center. Showtimes are 7 p.m., nightly, and doors open at 6:30 p.m.

This lighthearted musical and dance showcase promises to be the biggest show in the Valley this season. “Mamma Mia” has delighted audiences worldwide and has been a fan favorite on Broadway for 14 years.

The Harlequins have an 18-year tradition of being the first to bring big time shows to the Valley, including “Chicago,” “Sweeney Todd,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “Hairspray,” as director and instructor James Hodgson brings out the best in his talented students, putting together the compete production entirely by students. The staging, the props, costumes, lights, sound – everything is done by the students.

“It’s all student generated. We don’t go out for anything. The sets – the kids and I build them ourselves,” Hodgson said as he took a break during one of the cast’s daily rehearsals.

20181128 VMHS Mamma Mia JB 22The cast of 40 students, has been rehearsing for three months – working hard on the music, the singing and the choreography and is set to captivate their audiences with outstanding vocals, sets and dances.

Sam Gonzalez (junior), who plays in a lead role as Sam Carmichael, says “This year’s production has much more choreography and dancing” than last year’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” But after three months of practice it has become easier for the cast.

Senior Chelsey Garcia, who plays the part of Tanya in this year’s show, has played a role in each of her four years in high school.

“We’ve done “Grease,” “Chicago,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and now “Mamma Mia,” and my favorite of them all I can say is “Mamma Mia” – for sure with all my heart,” Garcia said with enthusiasm.

Ali Garza, a talented sophomore, is playing the lead female role as Sophie in this year’s show, and her enthusiasm is literally infectious – both on and off stage.

20181128 VMHS Mamma Mia JB 33Ali said, “Oh, my goodness! It’s so much fun. Everyone is so happy. And playing Sophie, she’s such a ray of sunshine. I love this play and I love the music and the dancing and the staging. Everything is just so exciting, right down to the lights. I’m so excited and I can’t wait to show it off.

“This if probably one of the best performances we’ve ever put on. It’s a wonderful story, and the music pulls it all together.... It’s going to be great and we’re going to put on an amazing show!”

Mr. Hodgson said, “Come see ‘Mamma Mia’ here in Mission. You don’t have to go to the civic center and pay $100 a person. We’re bringing that level of production here, so the people of Mission can see the production for only $5 or $10 for a really great show.”

Tickets are available at the door or at the VMHS front office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Nov. 26. Seating is limited. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students. The high school is located at 700 East 2 Mile Line, Mission. The front office entrance is on 2 Mile Line. The entrance to parking for the Performing Arts Center is on Mayberry Road. Call 956-323-3000 for information.

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