Zach Boehm, Braeden Weaver and Owen Dack (left to right) sing Thank You for the Music during rehearsal last week for the HF-L production of Mamma Mia!. Photo by Donna MacKenzie

While the music of ABBA was on the airwaves in the 1970s and 1980s, the students at Honeoye Falls-Lima are excited to bring it and Mamma Mia! to audiences this weekend. The Sentinel talked with four of the students in the show about their characters, what led them to try out for the roles they have, their most challenging parts of their roles and other things about the show during short interviews two weeks ago. HF-L presents Mamma Mia! on Thursday and Friday, March 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the District Auditorium at the HF-L Middle School, 619 Quaker Meeting House Road. Tickets are $12 adults and $10 students. You can purchase tickets online at or at the door.

Taber Gloor is a junior and plays the role of Sophie Sheridan.

“Sophie is a wonderful, bubbly person and has got so much character in her. She has really big dreams and aspirations and is not afraid to make them happen. That is something that I really love about her and I think that we could all learn something from Sophie in that way,” Gloor said. “I think her music is beautiful. I love the songs that she sings; they have got such a way of carrying her part to the audience and I hope I can do something like that as well.”

While Gloor has been in HF-L High’s productions of Les Miserables and Guys and Dolls the past two years and Twinderella in seventh grade and Dalmations in fifth grade, this is her first lead role to prepare for.

“I took a part out of some of my friends’ books who have had leads before me,” Gloor said. “I definitely practice a lot. I calm my nerves when I get reps in and practice everything one at a time.”

Gloor said she was really excited to learn this spring’s show would be Mamma Mia!.

“It was announced as summer was coming to a close,” she said. “I have always loved Mamma Mia! and ABBA, particularly the songs Money, Money, Money and Dancing Queen. I used to play those in the car with my parents. My friends and I were excited and couldn’t wait to get our hands on the music.”

For Gloor, the most challenging part of her role is learning how to create emotions for her character, by putting herself in Sophie’s shoes and generating anger out of nowhere.

“The things Sophie goes through; she gets really overwhelmed and very frustrated,” Gloor said. “In a positive environment and wonderful atmosphere with my friends, family and the cast, it is really difficult to make anger and put it toward another character. But, I have been working with people on it and I think I have come a long way and I can’t wait to show the audience what kind of character I can play.”
Madison Fleming is a junior and plays Donna Sheridan in the show.

“Donna is a single mom who has given up almost everything to supply for her daughter Sophie. I run a tavern and it’s very exciting,” said Fleming. “I love playing the role because I get to show all her different emotions that she goes through, happy to sad to excited.”

Fleming has been part of HF-L’s productions of Guys and Dolls last year and Les Miserables in 2022. This is her first lead role in high school. There are a couple of reasons why she tried out for the role.
“I love the show Mamma Mia! and always loved the character,” Fleming said. “I resonate with her motherly feeling, her instincts. Also how persuasive she is and just the love she has for all the people on the island.”
Fleming was excited when she learned the show this year would be Mamma Mia!.

“It’s one of my favorite movies,” Fleming said. “My aunt loves ABBA and she would always play it and listen to it. Last summer, at CMAC, there was a tribute Abba band and two of my best friends and I went to it. It was so much fun.”

For Fleming, one of the most challenging aspects of her character has been displaying all of Donna’s big moments, getting into her character and really understanding what she was feeling. The easiest aspect has been displaying Donna’s friendship with Tanya and Rosie as she has been friends with Maia Gathercole and Ava Youngblut, who play those two characters. Asked how she manages to juggle schoolwork and the show, Fleming laughed.

“It’s been a big thing ever since I started doing musicals in high school,” she said. “I find it exciting. I’m always busy and there is always something to do. Shout out to my parents for helping me balance it. It is so much fun; I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Mike Ruff, a sophomore, plays Sky in the show.

“Sky is Sophie’s fiancé. He is a very extroverted guy, a very cool guy,” Ruff said. “He used to work on Wall Street. He is very adventurous so he wanted to explore the world rather than just work an office job. He’s a very interesting character and a lot of fun to play.”

Ruff was seen last fall in the role of Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web. He has also had roles in Guys and Dolls and in the drama show It’s A Wonderful Life in the fall of 2022. He performed the role of Rumplestillskin in Happily Ever Before as an eighth-grader at HF-L Middle School, but was not in a musical at the Middle School. Although this is his first lead role in a musical at HF-L, he has been in community theatre productions. Adding music to a lead role makes things a bit more challenging.

“I’ve always loved music and always been in chorus and things like that,” Ruff said. “Music brought me into theater, but plays and musicals are very different because the acting is a little different. With musicals, you rely so much on your singing which I had to get used to but both are a lot of fun and I love both.”

Asked what drew him to trying out for the role of Sky and if he has seen some of Sky in himself and some of himself in Sky, Ruff mentioned several different things.

“He is a very funny guy, very energetic and like I said very extroverted,” Ruff said. “I just thought he would be a lot of fun to play. What’s funny is that Sky and I are very different but since I started to play him I have started to see parts of him come out in me and parts of myself come out in the character which has been a lot of fun to explore. For example, Sky is very uber uber confident, maybe too much so. I have seen that self-assurance come out in me a little bit since I started playing him.”

Ruff was ecstatic when it was announced that Mamma Mia! would be the show this year as he has seen the movie numerous times and he hopes the audience has a fun time.
“It’s such a fun show for all of us, the cast and crew and all the adults helping us,” he said. “I hope the audience has a lot of fun too.”

Owen Dack is a senior and he plays Sam Carmichael in the show.

“Sam doesn’t know he is a potential dad of Sophie,” Dack said. “He is an architect. He is very much the heart of the three dads. He is the person who can put his foot down and control the other dads when they’re going off to do their thing. He’s actually the one who is most in love with Donna (Sophie’s mom) and wants to settle down. He is fun to play.”

Dack has been in a lot of other shows at HF-L, the musicals Les Miserables and Guys and Dolls and the drama shows Three Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview, Charlotte’s Web and It’s A Wonderful Life. He had a featured role as Big Jule in Guys and Dolls last spring and was Templeton the Rat in Charlotte’s Web but this is his first official lead role in a musical and he is excited to show that. While the maturity of the role has been challenging as Dack admits he is personally very goofy and likes to make jokes, the most enjoyable part of the role is the people that his character interacts with.

“I feel that Sam gets to interact with the most amount of people,” Dack said. “It’s just the little subtleties that he has with so many members of the cast. It’s crazy how many different background friendships that he has in the show.”

Dack and some of his friends had speculated over the summer what this year’s show was going to be and one thing that kept popping up for years was what if HF-L did Mamma Mia!.

“We’ve all seen the movie and we all love the songs,” he said. “I don’t think there’s ever been a party that I’ve been to that hasn’t played Dancing Queen four times.”

Dack hopes the overall experience is what the audience enjoys while watching the show.

“This is the first show in recent memory that is going to be such a big spectacle that you are going to want to see again and again,” he said. “With all new lights, huge numbers and amazing set, I really want people to have fun and be able to sing along with us during the encores.”

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