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November 22, 2017 Comments Off on The 5th Avenue To Give Its “Mamma Mia” A Diverse Refreshening Views: 2581 *Seattle Theaterland, Arts & Entertainment, Stage

The 5th Avenue To Give Its “Mamma Mia” A Diverse Refreshening

Actor/singer Paolo Montalban plays "Sam" in the 5th Avenue Theatre's upcoming production of MAMMA MIA, Febr 2-25, 2018

Actor/singer Paolo Montalban plays “Sam” in the 5th Avenue Theatre’s upcoming production of MAMMA MIA, Febr 2-25, 2018

Oh. Thank. The Divinity of Your Choice.

When the 5th Avenue Theatre announced a few months back that the old ABBA jukebox musical war horse MAMMA MIA was being inserted into the winter spot in their early 2018 schedule, I was concerned. I mean, we all LOVE Mamma Mia, or at least those of us who j’adore ABBA, the seminal Swedish mega pop group from the 70s/80s with gajillions of tuneful hits. The silly musical with its threadbare (and mostly purloined plot) is shallow and trite albeit hugely entertaining but….

Aren’t we just a teeny bit tired of it? The road show tour has been through Seattle a billion times; we’ve seen the problematic movie; hell, even DRAG QUEENS have parodied (to great success). We’ve all seen that clunky unit set and those tacky jump suits while gayfully singing along to “Dancing Queen” for over 2 decades.

HAPPILY, the 5th Avenue has just announced cast and some crew for their production which runs February 2 -25, 2018 at their gorgeous downtown theater and the news that this will be a brand new production with all new staging (by the 5th’s producing artistic director Bill Berry) and choreography from Bob Richard, the duo behind the VERY fabulous production of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying that the 5th did two years ago.

AND, there is going to be a new production design (good bye to the dreary unit set used on the Broadway production and tours) AND new costumes!


Oh, and this Mamma Mia has a great cast headed by the wonderful Kendra Kassebaum who just wowed us as “Mother” in Ragtime in the lead role of “Donna” (aka Meryl Streep in the movie) with Lisa Estridge and Sarah Rudinoff as her two sidekicks and former singers in their girl group. Playing the men will be the dreamy Paolo Montalban as “Sam” with Matt Wolfe and Cobey Mandarino in support. Two other 5th Avenue newcomers, Eliza Palasz as Sophie and Jordan Iosua Taylor as Sky, round out this energetic and diverse cast.

Tickets are on sale NOW for this delightful post Xmas, early 2018 treat. They can be purchased at, by phone at 206-625-1900 or at the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue in Downtown

More skinny!


Film Star Paolo Montalban and Broadway’s Kendra Kassebaum to Lead Cast of The 5th Avenue Theatre’s New Production of the Galaxy’s Greatest Musical Mamma Mia!


February 2–25, 2018

Book by Catherine Johnson

Music & Lyrics by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus

Directed by Bill Berry

Choreographed by Bob Richard


(Wednesday, November 22, 2017—SEATTLE) This February The 5th Avenue Theatre will stage a new production of Mamma Mia!, the hit musical that features the songs of the beloved pop group ABBA. The 5th is the first theater company in the Pacific Northwest to be granted the rights to create a brand new original version of the famed production that has wowed audiences for nearly 20 years. The 5th is delighted to welcome Paolo Montalban, best known for his portrayal of Prince Christopher opposite Brandy in the 1997 film version of Cinderella, who will make his 5th Avenue Theatre debut as Sam. Broadway’s Kendra Kassebaum will return to The 5th Avenue Theatre stage to star as Donna, following her critically acclaimed performance as Mother in this season’s Ragtime.


Montalban and Kassebaum will be joined by a fantastic cast of 5th Avenue favorites including Lisa Estridge (Singin’ in the Rain, Company, Into the Woods) as Tanya, Sarah Rudinoff (How to Succeed in Business, Cinderella, On the Town) as Rosie and Matt Wolfe (Catch Me if You Can, Disney’s Aladdin, A Christmas Story) as Bill. Making their 5th Avenue Theatre debuts are Cobey Mandarino as Harry, Eliza Palasz as Sophie and Jordan Iosua Taylor as Sky. Mamma Mia! will be directed by 5th Avenue Theatre Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry (How to Success in Business, The Pajama Game, Broadway’s First Date) and choreographed by Bob Richard.


Playing February 225, 2018 (press opening Friday, February 9, 2018), tickets for Mamma Mia! start at $29 and are on sale now. They can be purchased at, by phone at 206-625-1900 or at the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue in Downtown Seattle.
On the Greek island of Kalokairi, Sophie is preparing to marry her fiancé, Sky. She wants her father to walk her down the aisle but doesn’t know who he is. She discovers her mother’s old diary and finds entries describing intimate dates with three men—surely one of these men is her father. On the day before Sophie’s wedding, her mother begins receiving guests at her taverna, and so the story of Mamma Mia! begins.


WHEN:           Previews begin Friday, February 2, 2018

                        Opening Night: Friday, February 9, 2018 (press night)

Closing Performance: Sunday, February 25, 2018


SHOW            Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – 7:30 PM

TIMES:           Fridays – 8:00 PM

                        Saturdays – 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM

Sundays – 1:30 PM & 7:00 PM         


WHERE:         The 5th Avenue Theatre (1308 5th Avenue, Downtown Seattle)


TICKETS:      Please visit or call the Box Office at (206) 625-1900 for tickets (starting at $29).



Special thanks to The 5th Avenue Theatre’s 2017/18 season sponsors ArtsFund, U.S. Bank and Alaska Airlines. Additional thanks to restaurant sponsor Purple.



About The 5th Avenue Theatre

The non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre is the nation’s premier incubator for new musical theater. Since 2001, the Seattle-based company has produced 18 new musicals. To date, nine (including the sensational hit Disney’s Aladdin) have moved on to Broadway premieres, earning a combined 15 Tony Awards®, including two for Best Musical (Hairspray and Memphis). The 5th Avenue Theatre is also known for its world class, critically acclaimed new productions of musicals chosen from both the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway.


Unique in its Chinese-inspired design, this exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. Today, under the leadership of Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin and Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry, this non-profit theater company attracts an annual attendance of more than 300,000, including over 20,000 subscribers—one of the largest theater subscriptions in North America.


In addition to its main stage productions, The 5th Avenue Theatre is also committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its extensive educational outreach programs. For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, please visit

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