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EWP Announces Cast and Creative Team of ‘Mamma Mia!’

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East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theater of color and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, is pleased to announce the cast and creative team for award-winning Broadway musical “Mamma Mia!”

With music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and book by Catherine Johnson, “Mamma Mia!” is directed by EWP Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai with musical direction by Marc Macalintal and choreography by Preston Mui. The show begins performances on May 9 and runs through June 9, with opening night on May 16.

On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the Greek island they last visited 20 years ago. The storytelling magic of ABBA’s timeless hits sets the scene for this infectious tale of love and frolicking fun, creating an unforgettable musical experience that will leave you dancing in the aisles.

EWP is thrilled to include “Mamma Mia!” as part of its 53rd-anniversary season, “Culture Shock,” which is about disrupting the status quo and taking charge of the “outsider” narrative.

“I am so excited to bring ‘Mamma Mia!’ to East West Players,” says Desai. “Reflecting on the theme of ‘culture shock,’ this unique production will feature a diverse, Asian American-led cast — challenging the perception of who is perceived as an American abroad and exploring the culture shock we often feel in our own families generationally.”

The cast of Mamma Mia is headlined by Joan Almedilla (Lady Thiang on the Broadway national tour of “The King and I”), Grace Yoo (Nan Goto in EWP’s ‘Allegiance’), Alan Ariano (Broadway’s “The King and I”), and singers/songwriters Jules Aurora and AJ Rafael.

The cast also includes: Steven Agdeppa, Elvira Barjau, Danny Bernardo, Andrew Ge, Andthea Neri, Edelyn Okano, Michael Palma, Kevin Perdido, Nicole Santiago, Ala Tiata, Max Torrez, Dekontee Turkile, and Grace Yoo.

The creative team includes Stephanie Nguyen (costume designer), Anna Robinson (scenic designer), Karyn Lawrence (lighting designer), Christian Lee (sound designer), and Brandon Hong Cheng (stage manager).

All performances will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St. in Little Tokyo. Previews are Thursday, May 9, through Sunday, May 12, with 8 p.m. shows from Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. show on Sunday. All preview seats are $35. Regular performances are from Friday, May 17, through Sunday, June 9, with 8 p.m. shows from Friday to Saturday, and 2 p.m. shows on Saturday and Sunday. Regular performance ticket prices range from $50 to $75. Opening night is Thursday, May 16, at 8 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://eastwestplayers.org or by calling (213) 625-7000. At time of purchase, be sure to mention any wheelchair/accessible seating needs. Student, senior, and group discounts are available. Dates, details, and ticket prices are subject to change.

EWP was founded in 1965, at a time when Asian Pacific Islanders faced limited or no opportunities to see their experiences reflected outside of stereotypical and demeaning caricatures in the American landscape. EWP not only ensures that API stories are told, but works to increase access, inclusion, and representation in the economy.

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