In the musical Mamma Mia, a young bride-to-be invites three men to her upcoming wedding, each one with the possibility of being her father.

The musical is based on the premise that goodwill and great music can straighten out most any tangled situation.

The curtain goes up on the spirited North Platte Community playhouse production at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 28. The play is filled with the music of ABBA, a Swedish super-group that dominated the international pop music charts from 1974-1982.

The North Platte production is not only filled with delightful songs, but captivating dances, choreographed by Holly Barraclough, a news anchor at KNOP-TV.

Holly’s husband Jace Barraclough plays the prospective groom. Starla Arensdorf is the bride with a lot on her mind. Jenette Kammerer portrays her mother who wants everything just so for the wedding. Dan O’Neill, Brian Horst and Butch Lehmkuhler are the three potential dads who seem to be a bit left out.

Mostly, the musical is about great feelings, said Lou Cox Fornander, who co-directs the play with Tyler Cronin. All of the 21 members cast frequently appear onstage, singing, dancing and lifting spirits, backed by seven musicians in the pit orchestra. Three members of the orchestra play keyboards to re-create the lush instrumental wall of sound for which ABBA was known.

One of the sets is a beautiful Greek street scene, the backdrop of powerful moments.

Seats in the theater will be limited to about 200 per performance, due to precautions for COVID-19, but the wonderful thing is that the playhouse is open.

“We’re super-excited to be open again,” Fornander said, “and we’re glad to be the first show back on the stage. This is a feel-good show… a rousing show.”

The show will be held on consecutive nights, July 28-Aug. 2, instead of on two weekends, so as not to conflict with the North Platte High graduation weekend or the Buffalo Bill Rodeo, both of were also long delayed in the COVID crunch.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. each night, except on Sunday, Aug. 2, when the curtain goes up at 4 p.m.

For tickets, call the playhouse at (308) 532-8559 or stop by the office from noon-5 p.m. Adult tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets for this production are not available online.



Sophie Sheridan – Starla Arensdorf

Ali – Alex McConnell

Lisa – Suzi Knolles

Donna Sheridan – Janette Krammerer

Tanya – Kelly Travis

Rosie – Shelly Deardoff

Sky – Jace Barraclough

Pepper – Lane Swedberg

Eddie – Seth Daup

Harry Bright – Brian Horst

Bill Austin- Butch Lehmkuhler

Sam Carmichael – Dan O’Neill

Father Alexandrios – Stuart Shepherd



Norval Riley Books

Varsha Huebner

Harmon Johnsen

Sue Johnson

Molly Krammerer

Bonnie Naughtin

Maverick Naughtin

Collin Swedberg

Annie Von Kampen



Direction and Design – Lou Cox-Fornander and Tyler Cronin

Music Directors – Mary Lynn Horst and Karen Matthies

Choreographer – Holly Barraclough

Assistant Director – Catiana Urrutia

Stage Manager – Seth Vapenik

Assistant Stage Manager – Amy Sabatka

Production Assistant – Ashley Aloi

Set Builder – Garett Luenenborg

Lighting Operator – Adam Sabatka

Lighting Advsors – Wayne Presnall and Donnee Weverka

Spotlight Extaordinaire – Bonnie Kruse

Costumer – Martha Orcutt

Drop Artist – Jess Hill

Programs/Advertising – Tyler Cronin


Set crew:

Dennis Fornander

Ladonna Swedberg

Allison Huebner

Laurel Huebner

Dave Cronin

Karen Cronin

Patrick Johnstone