Mamma Mia’s Jennifer Noth :: part of the ’magic factory’

by Jenny Block

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday March 26, 2010

Mamma Mia! has a strange and powerful effect on people. Despite the fact that the theater is generally supposed to be a place of decorum where audiences watch and performers perform, Mamma Mia! has audiences getting into the act. At performances all across the country people are singing along and dancing in the aisles.

EDGE caught up with tour cast member Jennifer Noth to find out more about the phenomenon that's making a stop in Miami next week where it plays at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

EDGE: Can you give us a snapshot of your theater background?

Jennifer Noth: I have a BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and have performed in theatres across the United States and in Europe. I am a native Texan and have worked in Dallas at The Dallas Theater Center, Casa Manana, Theatre Three, and as a featured soloist at the Meyerson Concert Hall with the Turtle Creek Chorale.

EDGE: Can you tell readers a little about Mamma Mia!?

Noth: Mamma Mia! is set in Greece. Twenty-year-old Sophie has grown up there with her single mom Donna. Sophie is getting married and wants to invite her father. The problem is, she does not know who her father is. After reading her mom's diary, Sophie deduces that she has three possible dads. She invites all three (without Donna knowing). All three dads show up.... and the fun begins!

EDGE: How do you approach a piece like this that already has such a strong following?

Noth: Mamma Mia is truly a phenomenon! You approach it the same way you would any other piece. However, the audience response is always huge and that's what makes it so amazing night after night.

EDGE: There are people who are just crazy about Mamma Mia and who see it again and again. What do you think it is that makes people such diehard fans?

Noth: People are diehard fans because they leave happier than they were when they got to the theater and because the songs of ABBA strike such a strong chord. ABBA fans know where they were and what they were doing when ABBA was so popular... it conjures up great memories for people.

EDGE: Can you even believe this is what you get to do for a living?

Noth: I can believe this is my living because I've been doing it for almost 15 years....but, that does not make it less special. I love the show, the cast, and the company. I am so grateful for such an amazing job. Mamma Mia is like a "magic factory" (that is a quote from a former cast member).

EDGE: What's the biggest challenge you face in terms of performing this particular show?

Noth: The biggest challenge of the tour is doing my personal laundry! Sometimes it's tough to find a place to do it, or it's crowded, or the quarter machine is broken, get the idea!

EDGE: What role do you play in this show?

Noth: I am in the ensemble and am the understudy for Donna (Sophie's mom) and Tanya (One of Donna's best friends). It's awesome to get to do all three things because it always keeps things interesting!

EDGE: Who should come to see this show?

Noth: Everyone who likes ABBA and likes to laugh should come see the show. They will leave with a smile on their face!

Mamma Mia! plays March 30 through April 4, 2010 at the aAdrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Boulevard Miami, FL. For more information visit the theater's website or the Mamma Mia! Website.

Jenny Block is a Dallas based freelance writer and the author of "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage" (Seal Press, June 2008). Block's work has appeared in Cosmopolitan (Germany), USA Today, American Way, BeE, bRILLIANT, the Dallas Morning News, D, Pointe, and Virginia Living, as well as on,, and You can also find her work in the books "It's a Girl" (Seal Press, March 2006, ed. Andrea J. Buchanan) and "One Big Happy Family" (Riverhead Press, February 2009, Rebecca Walker, ed.).