Mamma Mia! in the spotlight at Mustang Forum


YLHS Theatre

Casey Williams stars as Donna in Yorba Linda’s Mustang Theatre production

Sharon Sun, Photojournalist

Mamma Mia! Here we go again! A musical of lost and rekindled love and an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish, the magic of this fan favorite sprang alive at the Mustang Forum from March 25th to April 2nd. Written by English playwright Catherine Johnson and featuring music by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus – members of the bestselling Swedish band ABBA – Mamma Mia! is an iconic blend of music, theater, and entertainment hosted by Yorba Linda’s own Mustang Theatre Company. 

The main character, Sophie, plans a wedding after an engagement with her fiance, Sky, wishing for her father to walk her down the aisle on her big day. The catch? Sophie doesn’t know who her father is, so she sifts through her mother’s diary decades ago to pinpoint three possible men: Sam, Bill, and Harry. Unbeknownst to her mother, Donna, Sophie sends all three an invitation to her wedding, embarking on her own investigation to uncover the truth about her paternity. 

Moving forward into the wedding, all three men each become convinced that Sophie is truly his daughter, with the befuddled bride still none the wiser. Ultimately, Sophie chooses her mother to walk her down the aisle in her wedding; the true identity of Sophie’s father is left unknown, as all three men are content to remain as a father figure to Sophie and a part of her life moving forward. Towards the end, Sam, after a heartfelt reunion, marries Donna, and Sophie and Sky embark on a trip around the world.

While Mamma Mia! as a play masterfully twisted at the audience’s heartstrings and delighted the watchers all the while, the Mustang Theatre Company made sure to top off the performance with an ABBA-inspired finish. Audience favorites like “Mamma Mia” and, of course, “Dancing Queen,” stole the stage’s spotlight alongside an array of other songs, which all members of the musical’s cast were happy to perform in. Magdalena Aparicio (11), who worked behind the scenes in the production of Mamma Mia! praises ABBA’s unique songs in making the play extraordinary. “I’ve watched Mamma Mia! so many times and the music is always so good,” she says. “‘Dancing Queen’ – that’s my favorite and it’s iconic.”

Though the audience was certainly excited to hear the return of ABBA’s pop hits, music also became a medium in the play through which the actors could express their emotions. The lyrics of “Mamma Mia” regarded Donna’s surprise and anguish to see her ex-lovers; “Dancing Queen” was sung to reignite the happiness of Donna’s youth.

A masterpiece and a classic brought to life in the Mustang Forum by the Mustang Theatre Company, Yorba Linda is glad to have experienced Mamma Mia! in person with such a talented group of Mustang actors!