Does Your Mother Know: A Candid Discussion with Sassy Mama Donna
As an 80’s baby, I subconsciously became an ABBA fan long before I could comprehend an acronym, or the impact Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Frid would have on Pop music. My parents blared that Gold: Greatest Hits on repeat throughout my childhood, and it didn’t take long for me to realize, I was THE Dancing Queen. When the MAMMA MIA! musical first went into production several years ago, I was fascinated with the idea of this story coming to life and resurrecting music from the ashes of my youth. I’m certainly not alone in my excitement; MAMMA MIA! has been seen by over 54 million patrons worldwide, offering lighthearted animated entertainment, on a stage thats often more thought provoking and heavy hitting in recent years.
Last week I had the opportunity of speaking with Australian native Georgia Kate Haege who plays Donna, passionate mother of the bride, who’s daughter is on a quest to discover which out of three men from her past is her father. Instead of bringing the clan on a Maury studio to shame the father on TV, her daughter brings the prospective dads to the Greek island they all last saw Donna 20 years prior. Here is what Georgia had to say about her character, and life on the MAMMA MIA! set.
What is your favorite aspect of playing Donna?
Georgia: She’s a tough cookie, very feisty and spunky and also a very warm, loving mother to Sophie. I love that she was a front-woman in a band because I am too, so I can relate to that.
You must have funny stories from rehearsals or backstage, give us a peek!
G: So many it would be hard to list them all! We are always punking each other backstage. And sometimes funny and embarrassing things happen ON stage! Just recently I almost tripped and fell on my silver platforms while dancing in the Dancing Queen finale number; luckily I caught myself but I had to try not to laugh and saw a few ensemble members behind me stifling their giggles too. Live theatre!
As this is the 9th most popular Broadway production, what is it about the show that keeps people coming back?
G: It’s not a heavy production, its not dark its funny, it’s a spectacle and obviously the incredible music, and people want to have a fun night out. This is real entertainment, I think that is why people come back. You’re going to leave feeling happy. Its just really fun.
What are some other productions you’d like to perform in?
G: Bullets over Broadway is one I would want to do next.
What makes this tour of MAMMA MIA! exciting and different from past productions?
G: Most of our ensemble are a young and experienced group, so everyone has a ton of energy, excitement and passion!
Don’t take a chance on me – see this fun ABBA filled production for yourself at the Paramount Theater March 24th -29th! Tickets on sale now through STG.