Cherie Messore Previews

‘Mamma Mia!’ Introduces New Tech at The Kav

Ah, the craggy coastline of Greece.  The bright sunshine.  The brilliant blue of the Mediterranean.  In January.  In Buffalo.

When “Mamma Mia!” opens at The Kavinoky Theatre on January 5, your eyes will be treated to these vivid images, thanks to state of the art LED curtains. Kavinoky is the only local theatre using this innovative technology.

“They are similar to the screens you see at rock concerts that project large images behind the stage,” says Managing Director Loraine O’Donnell. “This is a total game changer for our set design in the theatre.”

The curtains function as LED TV screens with the ability to show moving or still images in versatile configurations. “Mamma Mia!” will have a 10-foot swath that will stretch across the stage with two smaller panels on either side.

Director Lynne Kurdziel Formato is familiar with this technology, having used similar devices in Europe. For “Mamma Mia!,” adding new technology to an Edwardian-style house that’s presenting a contemporary production is an interesting combination of forces that will add great dimension to an already rich production. She says, “Scenery of this nature gives you a sense of time and place. The curtains as part of the scenery will operate in a number of different ways. It allows scenic elements to move in a more cinematic ways, and has movement as you transition from scene to scene.”

“Mamma Mia!” is a regional premiere, with a stellar line-up featuring some of the region’s finest singers and actors, with Debbie Pappas as Donna, Arianne Davidow as daughter Sophie,  Loraine O’Donnell and Lisa Ludwig as friends Rosie and Tonya, and Peter Palmisano, Doug Weyand, and Matt Witten as the trio of maybe-dads. Kurdziel Formato says the ensemble is replete with actors who also play leading roles in other companies. She says, “It’s an extraordinary ensemble and incredible professional cast.”

She says, it’s the perfect show for our times. “In the dead of winter in Buffalo, coming to see and hear an uplifting show about pursuing  your dreams and how it’s never too late to change your pathway, a  show like “Mamma Mia!” offers positive reinforcement that life is good. “ And if that doesn’t do it, all those danceable, sing-a-long-able ABBA tunes are there in full force.

The purchase of the LED curtains are supported by a grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo with funds from its J. Warren and Charles Donald Perry Memorial Fund.

“Mamma Mia!” runs January 5 – 28, 2018 and is presented at The Kavinoky Theatre. For more information, click here.