Next weekend, the Tony Award-winning “Mamma Mia!” will be hitting the stage at The Fabulous Fox Theatre for five performances. “Mamma Mia!” follows the funny tale of a mother and daughter whom attempt to figure out which of the possible three dads will walk his daughter down the aisle on a Greek island paradise in what could be considered the ultimate love triangle. Set to the timeless tracks of ABBA, “Mamma Mia!” has become an iconic musical enjoyed by over 54 million people worldwide.
University News staff writer, Melena Abijaoude, had the opportunity to sit down with the leading lady herself, Georgia Kate Haege. Cast as Donna Sheridan, the Australian actress Haege commands the stage as the former-pop, diva mother who is forced to confront her past loves at the urging of her daughter, Sofie (Chelsea Williams). During their conversation, Abijaoude and Haege were able to chat about life on Broadway, her role in “Mamma Mia!” and also a few tips for aspiring actors.
A: How did you get involved in “Mamma Mia!”?
H: I saw the opportunity in Backstage Magazine in December of 2012. I wrote to Gabrielle Mirabella but I was on a tour in Australia so I was asked to send in a video audition. However, I dropped the ball and totally forgot about it. In early April I walked in to an audition for the Broadway production of “Soul Doctor.” To my surprise, Gabrielle was the one doing the auditions. She asked me to audition for “Mamma Mia!” because they still have not found anyone. I sang “The Winner Takes It All,” using my iPhone for lyrics while Gabrielle recorded me using her own iPhone and the pianist used his iPhone to pull up the note sheet. With technology helping out and lots of luck, I got the part!
A: What has been the hardest thing about this show?
H: The hardest thing is the intensity. In my role there is lots of singing so I have days where I literally don’t speak to help my vocal chords. Everybody knows I do no talking on Mondays. There have also been lots of sacrifices, like I do not drink alcohol and try to sleep a lot.
A: How do you deal with the difficulties of the show?
H: In the show there is a lot of dancing and that’s not necessarily my strongest point. However, the choreography is amazing and the director, Carly Wielstein, is awesome so she keeps everything running smoothly.
A: What have you enjoyed most about this show?
H: The show is a lot of fun! The wardrobe is incredible and it impresses everyone along with the wonderful scene work.
General tips from Haege:
- Have good relationships, work hard, and don’t complain because you never know who will end up being your next director or boss.
- Persevere and don’t give up. There will be many auditions and you only need one to work out.
- Take care of yourself and eat well! Good food, lots of water and sleep help the body and mind.