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The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

Mamma Mia! Bellarmine’s stunning spring musical opens

Almost all the cast members are featured in this final bow. Photo courtesy of Gianna Iaia

Come one, come all! The spring musical has opened its doors to the audience for six nights, bringing the stellar musical, “Mamma Mia,” to the Bellarmine community. For six nights, the drama department has laughed, cried, sang, and danced their way into the hearts of many. The show has seen a spectacular run, with almost every show being sold out. As the show finishes its closing night, members of the 31-person cast have shared their views on this stellar night.

Cast member Sophia Miller, a member of the musical’s Greek Chorus, loved this year’s musical. “The [cast] was amazing, the songs were amazing. I was so happy with how it all came together,” Miller said. 

Junior Mallory Whalin, the actor of Rosie, shared the same sentiments. Additionally, she added “I feel like one of the reasons it’s such a good musical is because it’s about family and caring about one another.” 

“The musical is so surreal. I’m really enjoying it…. It was a process [creating the production], but we molded it together into something that no other school could do,” added senior Jack McCoy, who played Eddie in “Mamma Mia.” 

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Additionally, freshman Isa Quesada, who played Ali, adored the show. “It was probably my favorite thing that I’ve done this year. It has brought me so much joy.” Quesada, as well as everyone in the cast, loved the show. “I think the choice of musicals is incredible!”

Opening night happened on March 7, and the cast and crew were filled joy and excitement over performing the show for the first time in front of an audience. Miller was nervous about the opening of the show. She mentioned, “I was pretty nervous. Although, I just love the people that I did it with… they definitely helped my nerves.” 

As a long-time actor, Whalin had similar points to Miller. “No matter how many shows I do I always get that opening night jitters— but that just happens because it’s the first time doing the show for an audience and that is really exciting.”

”It was more like, I’m super excited because I’m really proud of how this show was done,” Whalin recounted her excitement of the turnout of the musical, pointing her excitement towards the sold-out shows filled with family, friends, and supporters of Bellarmine’s drama department.  “…I know people are going to like it.”

As another veteran of the department, McCoy added that the jitters does not mean anything bad, but that if you experience them it means you truly care about what you are doing. “I was super nervous. I love getting [the jitters] because that means that I care about what I’m doing, and I want to deliver the best performance I could— and I really think that’s what we all did that week. We all basically came together that night, and it was just… wow.”

While some people get nervous before performing, the same could not be said about Quesada. “I was really excited. I don’t get stge fright. I just get super excited that it turns into jitters. I was ready for it to happen.” 

Even with all the nerves, the cast and crew of “Mamma Mia” gave a phenomenal performance to a wonderful audience. As the show went on, the actors grew, melting away their nerves and showing confidence in what they have worked so hard on for the past three months. 

After the show, Miller felt accomplished, and incredibly happy with the progress of the show. Similarly, Whalin felt an adrenaline rush, highly accomplished and incredibly happy about the opening performance. She mentions, “You get this adrenaline-like feeling that it’s just so much excitement and afterwards your heart’s racing. It’s why I do theater, it’s just so much fun… You feel the feelings yourself as your character, and you see the audience’s reactions. It just makes it so much fun— you can feel what they’re thinking when you do it.” McCoy loved the show as well, with an added feeling of anxiety over the next performances. 

Quesada added on to Whalin and Miller’s statements. “I’m just more excited, and also sad because as soon as one show goes by, you realize that it’s ending.”

While the actors felt incredibly accomplished, the show had more than just the March 7 performance. The first week of shows encompassed the opening night debut, as well as three additional performances from March 8-10, 13-14. 

Miller, as well as the rest of the cast, believed that the performances have done incredibly well. McCoy dove deeper into how phenomenal the show was. He recalls how the energy was during those first shows, explaining “It’s really hard to grasp a lot of energy, but I think we were able to conquer our nerves and avidity that we had.” 

Like any show, no matter how many times you perform it, there is always nerves. McCoy and Whalin, as members of the department that have been doing shows for years, explained the phenomenon incredibly well. While the cast has had nerves throughout, the most important part is that the cast brought the energy to every show— providing phenomenal performances to hundreds of audience members each night. 

“Mamma Mia” has shown the best of Bellarmine theater, showcasing incredible talent from older members as well as students brand new to Bellarmine. 

Miller and Quesada began their Bellarmine drama journey this year as freshmen— soaring to their roles as the Greek Chorus and Ali in the musical. Miller explained how the show impacted her, “It helped me meet a lot of upperclassmen and people I wouldn’t meet in classes.” Miller appreciateed the bond caused by the musical. Not only did the actors bond with one another, but also got to know the rest of the group working behind-the-scenes throughout the musical. 

Quesada had similar sentiments, “Starting a new school you’re always trying to find your spot… and the theater program impacted me positively. I found a place where I felt wanted.” 

McCoy shared his thoughts on how the show impacted him, especially as a senior, “It’s my last show, so that’s really sad. But I think it’s definitely leaving on a high note… The theater department is one of a kind, we as seniors are leaving behind a great legacy.” He goes on to mention the legacy of the drama department, “I’m one of the leaders… I really feel like this group of juniors, sophomores, and freshmen is such a good group. I’m feeling both happy and sad at the same time.” 

Whalin mentioned the joys and bittersweet thoughts of being an upperclassperson in the department. “What’s nice about being an upperclassman is getting to see how it impacted the younger people… It’s making me happy because I know that the theater department is going to be in good hands when I have to leave. Specifically, it’s impacted me positively because the story is such a good story.” 

With the end of the spring production, Bellarmine’s drama department has ended its final full production of the year. While this year has been completed, the fall play for the 2024-2025 school year is shortly coming. If you are interested in joining the drama department, do not hesitate to join in! 

 

The cast and crew take a selfie. Photo courtesy of Julia Tan and Jacquelyn Stevenson
Photo courtesy of bellarmineprep.org

About the Contributor
Kalia Comer, Reporter

Kalia Comer is absolutely excited to spend her senior year as a part of the Lion Journalism Staff! She absolutely loves writing and cannot wait to share pieces of her works through The Lion. Other than journalism, Kalia participates in Model UN at Bellarmine. She adores writing stories, voice acting, and playing mobile games in her free time. If you see her around campus, come say hello!