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REVIEW: ‘Mamma Mia!’ heralds NorShor’s rebirth

Production photo by Wherehouse Productions (Joe Oliveri).

From the moment the opening night audience for Mamma Mia! walked into the restored NorShor Theatre, I was overwhelmed by the inescapable conclusion that the Duluth Playhouse is not just another “community theater.”
Long before the doors even opened, the entire run of the popular jukebox musical was sold out. Through those doors on Thursday night, there was food and drink to consume, stairways to explore, songs and speeches to hear, and to top it off, a toe-tapping show to enjoy.
Sophie Sheridan (Courtney Groves) is engaged to get married to this nice Sky (Derek Bromme), but has invited the three men who might be her father — Sam (Shad Olsen), Harry (Jason Scorich) and Bill (Justin Peck) — to her wedding, without telling them or her mother, Donna (Jen Burleigh-Bentz), what is going on.
The plot of Mamma Mia! is spit and baling wire just to justifying singing ABBA’s songs. During scene changes, the cast and crew are always skipping, swaying or striding to the catchy music. But if Donna and the Dynamos only exist as an excuse to sing “Super Trouper,” then that is just fine with me.

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