5 minutes with: Mamma Mia’s Mary Callanan – Metro US

5 minutes with: Mamma Mia’s Mary Callanan

Her name might not stand out to us here, but the musical she is performing in certainly does.

Theatre veteran Mary Callanan is one of the stars of Mamma Mia!, the hit musical that is touring North America with five shows set for the Halifax Metro Centre Nov. 26-Nov. 28. Callanan, who lives in Boston, plays the character of Rosie and she spoke with Metro Halifax as Mamma Mia! performs this week in Saskatoon, Sask.

Have you ever been to the Maritimes before?
I have actually. My brother went to St. FX and my in-laws live in New Glasgow.

How is the tour going so far?
We’re having so much fun because it’s being taken to places that are relatively new for the Mamma Mia! tour schedule. People are so excited to see it. We just spent two weeks in Anchorage and it was almost sold out each night. Frankly, I didn’t think there were that many people in Anchorage.

What do you think it is about Mamma Mia! that resonates with people?
First and foremost, it’s a wave of music that has gotten under our collective skin for more than 40 years. For our parents, it would be like a Sinatra show. But the part that keeps people so engaged during the show is the story of strong women — of mothers and daughters — and of making choices and sticking with them.

Do you have any tips for men who might be forced into going?
Well, I think if they attempt to keep an open mind. You know, maybe you’ve never tried to take your wife to a hockey game, but she’s trying to share something with you here.

What about singing all these ABBA songs?
It’s a huge kick … I’ve done theatre and concert work myself for a long time, but never to audiences this big that are so excited they are like reaching for the stage. It’s very heavy. It’s a heavy experience.

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