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Mamma Mia stage presentation set for February

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Mamma Mia! is back on track at Theatre Tillsonburg’s Otter Valley Playhouse.

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Originally scheduled to run in the spring of 2020, Theatre Tillsonburg had hoped to reschedule it in late June last year.

“The show must and will go on,” said director Tom Heeney in November 2020 when it was announced ‘live theatre will be back as soon as we can all gather together again safely.’

The time for Mamma Mia is now Feb. 2-6 and Feb. 9-13, 2022 and Theatre Tillsonburg is expecting it to be sold out (again).

“It’s just so wonderful to hear all these voices singing,” said music director Dianne Clark after two recent rehearsals. “It’s so phenomenal. By the time we get to February to do our show it’s going to be really, really good.”

Due to the lengthy COVID-19 break, some cast members were no longer available (original auditions were way back in September 2019). Additional auditions were held and they now have a full cast with some brand new singers.

“We’re very, very excited,” said Clark, noting the cast includes some classically trained professional singers.

The first two 2021 rehearsals focused solely on the music.

“We need to have the songs all in place before we really get into the choreography,” said Clark.

Theatre Tillsonburg is looking for a new Mamma Mia choreographer – or perhaps even two choreographers.

“Unfortunately (choreographer) Rebecca Moore has had to step aside from Mamma Mia just due in part to her schooling and getting her degree,” said Clark.

“It could be possible to have two choreographers working together. One takes a song, one takes another song … because there is dancing in every song and we have 37 songs.”

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Recent capacity limit changes will allow them to fill the Otter Valley Playhouse in February.

“If they hadn’t lifted restrictions we would only have been able to seat 47 people. We normally seat 147, so that would have been a real nightmare. So we are very relieved that everybody is doing what they need to do to stay healthy.”

Mamma Mia sold out its original two-week run in February 2020. People who kept their tickets had those dates ‘lifted and shifted.’ If you had a ticket for the first Thursday night, it will still be the first Thursday night.

“They’ve actually been lifted three times for us,” said Clark, noting February 2022 is the absolute final date.

“If something happens and we can’t do it in February 2022, we can’t do it at all simply because they have professional theatre groups that want to do the show, and when a professional group wants to do it, it overrides amateurs. So this is going to be the last opportunity for any amateurs to do Mamma Mia for some time. And we’re excited that we are.”

Currently all of the cast and crew are double vaccinated and anyone with tickets will need to show proof of vaccination in February.

“This is important because we need to keep everybody healthy. If anybody is sick, that shuts the theatre down. So we want to make sure everybody is double vaccinated.”

Face coverings will be required in the audience.

“We will be asking everyone to wear their masks throughout the entire performance in the theatre because they will not be spaced apart.”

Ticket holders not able to attend in February still have a limited time opportunity to get a refund. Clark said there is a waiting list, and after that any extra tickets are expected to become available in January.

Information updates will be posted at  theatretillsonburg.com  .

Inquiries can be directed by email to  boxoffice@theatretillsonburg.com  , or messages can be left on voicemail at 519-688-3026.

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