On this week’s Backstage on Broadway, Tamsen Fadal meets the women behind the hit musical MAMMA MIA!.
Dancing Queen, it’s the song that’s had people groovin’ since the 70s and one of the many chart-topping tunes featured in MAMMA MIA!
Wendy Bobbitt Cavett is a huge part of what makes this show sing.
“It’s the happiest job I’ve ever had,” Wendy said. “[And] I think anyone you talk to from Mamma Mia will say the same thing.”
Wendy has been the musical director on Broadway for eight years, but with MAMMA MIA! for more than 11.
“When you do a long running show, sometimes things can get crabby,” Wendy said. “But my guys in the band, they are so grateful, they are so happy to be here.”
The show based on songs by the Swewish pop group ABBA has been on the great white way for almost 13 years- and it’s shown no signs of slowing down. MAMMA MIA! has already graced the stage for more than five thousand performances.
“ABBA I would say has this heart and there’s this kind of folksiness to some of their music,” Wendy said. “There’s depth, but there’s a lot of sheen.”
One of MAMMA MIA!’s dancing queen’s is Judy McLane.
“There is serious girl power on the stage, it’s really cool because we’re all representing a different type of woman,” McLane said.
She started her MAMMA MIA! career playing the man-eating dynamo, Tanya, for seven and a half years. Now, she’s taken on a the lead of Donna, mother of the bride.
“I sing a lot in this role, you have to be very disciplined,” Judy said. “Sometimes on my days off I don’t even speak.”
Judy’s dressing is filled with things she loves. It gets her motivated for every show,
“The first thing is my family. I have all pictures of my family,” Judy said.” I have up pictures that I have taken from Africa because Africa and animals are a really big deal for me.”
So, what is the secret behind her powerful voice?
“I eat Lays potato chips, they keep me oily,” Judy explained.
From the secrets to the songs to such power women. there’s only one more thing than would make this backstage tour perfect.
Yes, I got very own pair of silver platform boots and a some lessons from the Dynamos themselves!
And even after a decade, Judy still loves every moment!
“We get excited, we get jazzed every single night!”
PRODUCED BY: KIM PESTALOZZI