Broadway's Mamma Mia! to Welcome Lisa Brescia, Liana Hunt and Clarke Thorell
By Andrew Gans
Lisa Brescia, who has appeared on Broadway as Elphaba in Wicked, Amneris in Aida, Cleo in Twyla Tharp's The Times They Are A-Changin' and Marion Halcombe in The Woman in White, will play hip mom Donna Sheridan in the long-running international hit musical Mamma Mia! at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre.
Brescia, who will succeed Beth Leavel (Leavel plays her final performance Oct. 10), will join the cast Oct. 22. That same day the company will also welcome new principals Liana Hunt and Clarke Thorell, while current Broadway cast member Corey Greenan will graduate from the ensemble to play the role of Sophie's fiancé Sky.
Hunt, who will be making her Broadway debut, will play bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan, a role she has played in the musical's national tour.
Thorell (Titanic, Hairspray, Lone Star Love) will step into the role of Harry Bright, while Tony Award nominee John Dossett (Gypsy) and Patrick Boll (Faith Healer) continue as, respectively, Sam Carmichael and Bill Austin; the trio portray the men from Donna's past who are Sophie's possible dads.
Judy McLane (Chess, Kiss of the Spider Woman) and Gina Ferrall (Beauty and the Beast, Big River) continue as, respectively, Tanya and Rosie, Donna's best friends who reunite on a Greek island for the wedding of Donna's daughter.
Mamma Mia!, which has been seen by over 42 million people around the world, employs the hit songs of famed pop group ABBA to tell the story of Sophie Sheridan, a young girl who hopes to discover the identity of her father. On the eve of her wedding, she brings three men from her mother Donna's past back to the Greek island they visited over two decades ago.
Mamma Mia! features music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, a book by Catherine Johnson, direction by Phyllida Lloyd and choreography by Anthony Van Laast.
The musical was a hit in London, where it still plays, before arriving on Broadway. The production also spawned a hit film starring Oscar winner Meryl Streep.
The Winter Garden Theatre is located in Manhattan at 1634 Broadway. For more information visit www.mamma-mia.com.
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