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BMHS debuts spring musical Mamma Mia!

BELOIT — The Beloit Memorial High School theatre troupe will finally debut their spring musical, Mamma Mia!, on Friday after months of hard work and preparation.

The students, in addition to starring in the show, will be working as members of the production team, including sound, lighting and more once the curtain rises. They, along with theatre director Greg Wallendal, have been working overtime since January to pull off this feel-good musical featuring some of ABBA’s greatest hits.

“We pride ourselves on having as many students in charge of the production as possible,” Wallendal said. “There is a misconception that because it’s a jukebox musical, it’s not very deep. We can’t approach it that way because it undermines our skills.”
Wallendal chose Mamma Mia! as the spring show because he predicted its popularity would bring in large audiences and interested students. The show also happened to align with many of his students’ talents, including powerful female voices and fun, but challenging, choreography.

It was important to pick a show that was largely appealing because the theatre program needed a big draw after losing so much time to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re coming back strong. Here’s a musical that’s truly for everyone,” said senior Nolynn Fallin, who portrays Harry Bright in the show.

A big part of the theatre experience involved older students passing down knowledge to younger students in the program, but this was another experience lost to COVID. The loss of this tradition was just one of many challenges when putting together this show, however.

According to Wallendal, one of the leads was sick with strep throat in the days leading up to opening night and their understudy had to learn a lot of lines quickly. Despite this setback, Wallendal and his team are optimistic about show night.

“I have faith that we’ll miraculously pull it together,” Wallendal said.

Beloit Memorial High School’s theatre program has a history of putting on spectacular shows, including their performance of Badger in the fall of 2022.

They have received state-level awards, such as Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Acting, for their 2019 one-act version of “Metamorphosis. They also received Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Crew, Outstanding Lead, and Outstanding Supporting for their 2018 one-act performance of “The Government Inspector.”