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Belmont students and staff shine in Studio Tenn’s production of ‘Mamma Mia’

Studio Tenn took a chance on Belmont by casting faculty, students and alumni in their production of Mamma Mia.

It’s safe to say it paid off.

The Bruin-filled production isn’t just sequined jumpsuits, disco balls and Abba songs. The heartfelt moments are what makes the show truly special.

Senior Emily Urbanski plays the lively Sophie Sheridan in her fourth show with Studio Tenn. Erica Aubrey, a musical theatre instructor at Belmont, plays Sophie’s mother and the Dancing Queen herself, Donna Sheridan.

Urbanski translated the student-teacher relationship she had with Aubrey into the mother-daughter relationship between Donna and Sophie, Urbanski said.

The chemistry between the two shines in “Slipping Through my Fingers,” as Donna prepares to give her only daughter away. Aubrey’s vocals are clean and weighted with emotion, while Urbanski’s internal conflict about marriage is etched in her expression.

“It’s super special to be doing what she’s training me to do with her,” said Urbanski.

The sentimental moments of Studio Tenn’s Mamma Mia are balanced with exaggerated comedic characters and precise, sensational dance numbers.

Shawn Knight, adjunct professor at Belmont, is one of those comedic characters, playing the uptight English banker and Sophie’s potential father, Harry Bright.

Knight’s ease and energy on stage make him a delight to watch, whether he’s drunkenly stumbling to talk to Sophie or reminiscing on his relationship with Donna.

Hudson Synder plays the feisty Pepper. Sydner is hysterical in the raunchy “Does Your Mother Know,” and manifests his character through his dancing.

The phenomenal ensemble cast of Belmont talent includes musical theatre students Brooke Bucher, Wyatt Roby, Ariel Gray and Caroline Eiseman. Alumni Austin Querns plays Pepper’s bossy counterpart, Eddie.

Studio Tenn’s Mamma Mia runs for one more weekend and has shows Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Student Rush tickets are available one hour before the show opens.

Photo courtesy of Studio Tenn.

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