mamma mia, north american tour, joan marcus, andrew tebo,

A Q&A with Andrew Tebo of Mamma Mia!, opening in Memphis June 19th

In a week, Mamma Mia!, one of the biggest musicals of recent memory will open for a limited engagement at the Orpheum. If you are a fan of the musical or you’re a first timer, the show has incredible energy and is perfect for summer. I first saw the musical seven years ago when the film came out, and have been a fan ever since. The story is set in a Greek island paradise on the eve of a young woman, Sophie’s, wedding. Sophie has a close bond with her mother Donna, owner of a quaint hotel on the island, but she longs to know who her real father is. Enter, three candidates from Donna’s past all brought to the island by Sophie. Over the course of three hours some of ABBA’s biggest tunes are performed (everything from “Dancing Queen” to “S.O.S.”), and many characters will fall in and out of love. The show promises that you will too, if you come.

This week I had a chance to chat with Andrew Tebo, who plays the role of Harry–one of Sophie’s potential fathers. He was incredibly nice and also very insightful when talking about the show. Read on to hear what Andrew has learned about acting in a touring Broadway show and why you should come see Mamma Mia! next weekend

  • Hi Andrew! What have you learned about acting in a tour and being on the road constantly?

How to pack! You’re traveling constantly flying and busing across America. You have to make sure you’re prepared for any climate/weather. You become extremely skilled in the art of packing!

  • What attracted you to the role of Harry and how did you become involved with this production? 

I think Harry has such a great journey in this show. He starts out as a stuffy English banker and soon unleashes his old spontaneous “rocker” self (head banger) as the show goes on!

I’m an actor based in New York City and auditioned for the production team of Mamma Mia! In the city this past Winter. I had a few callbacks that led to me joining the tour about 3 months ago. It’s been a whirlwind of an adventure and I’m loving every bit of it!

  • This might be an obvious question but Broadway shows–and Mamma Mia!, specifically–have a huge gay following. Harry even comes out as gay in this show. Why do you think the LGBTQ community embraces Mamma Miaso widely?  

Mamma Mia has a great message that I think resonates in the LGBTQ community. That there’s all kinds of families out there from single mothers raising their daughters like Donna and Sophie or gay men living happily together like Harry and his other half Nigel! Its full of love, family, friends, and heart! And let’s not forget the amazing music and dancing! What’s not to love about Abba!

  • Mamma Mia has a lot of cheeky humor in it. Is it easier for you to do a comedic or dramatic role? 

I love comedy and Mamma Mia is full of great comedy but it also is set on a foundation of dramatic circumstances. The best humor is found in the truth of the everyday life struggle. Whether it be a single mother finding the strength to raise her daughter alone, a girl coming to terms with knowing who she is, or somebody coming out to family and friends. It’s all hard to do but it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

  • Mamma Miaalso seems to be a huge celebration of many things. Can you explain what you think the show celebrates most?

It celebrates the fact that knowing who you are doesn’t come from anyone else but you.

  • I think every number in the show is complete over-the-top fun. Do you have any favorite moments in the show? 

I love the finale number! It always has the audience up dancing and singing with us.

  • How do you prepare on show days? 

I usually go to the gym, try to find delicious local food in the city that day and always have a cup of coffee right before the show.

  • Why should audiences come see Mamma Mia

Because it’s a show for the entire family. Everybody can relate to somebody within the show. I guarantee you’re going to leave happy. It’s truly a spectacular production filled with beautiful costumes, sets, and unbelievably talented performers.

  •  Last question! What’s your favorite Broadway show?

Mamma Mia!!! [Ed note: 😉 ] 

Mamma Mia opens June 19th and will close June 21st, so make plans to see this while you can! Tickets start as low as $25.

Performance list and times are below:

•      Friday, June 19, 2015  8:00 PM

•      Saturday, June 20, 2015  2:00 PM

•      Saturday, June 20, 2015  8:00 PM

•      Sunday, June 21, 2015  1:30 PM

•      Sunday, June 21, 2015  7:30 PM

TICKETS: $25 – $85

Call to purchase your tickets today: 901.525.3000

GROUP SALES: 901.529.4226

Purchase online at the Orpheum’s website.

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