'Mamma Mia!' brings smiles to Staples

WESTPORT — Packed-house audiences got something to smile about this weekend when the Staples High School Players put on the feel-good jukebox musical “Mamma Mia!”

“I’ve a very, very popular show,” said David Roth, Staples’ drama teacher and director. “It’s really great to see so much of the community come out.”

“And it’s been a fun process,” said 17-year-old Tomaso Scott, Players Club secretary. “You gotta love Abba,” the Swedish rock group whose 1970s-era hit songs formed the basis for the musical about a young woman who tries to discover the identity of her father by investigating her mother’s past romances.

“Once you do ‘Mamma Mia!’ you’re part of this big family who have all done this production,” Scott said, noting that choreographers and Fairfield couple Rachel McIsaac and Chris Myers appeared together in its touring company.

At the same time, the club itself — which has been an active part of the high school for more than half a century — works together like a family.

“It really is one of the tightest communities I’ve ever seen,” said Will Matar, 17, vice president of tech. “I know it sounds corny, but we do form lifelong friendships because we’re here all the time and we’re committed to putting on a great show, which we do.”

Roth added that “Mamma Mia!” is a welcome feel-good, happy story.

“Right now we need feel-good happy stories,” he said.