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East County Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 7 months ago

'Here we go again' at Lakewood Ranch

Lakewood Ranch High School theater department performs "Mamma Mia!"
by: Liz Ramos Staff Writer

The Lakewood Ranch High School theater department is putting on its biggest show yet with 37 students singing and dancing their way through classic songs from “Mamma Mia!” and 13 crew members handling the behind-the-scenes work.

Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 and Feb. 14 and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 and Feb. 15 in Lakewood Ranch High School’s auditorium. Tickets are $5-$20, depending on seating. 

Here are four students who are playing some of the main roles in the musical and  how they are bringing these characters to life on stage.


Gabby Macogay, a senior, plays Sophie Sheridan. Macogay knew from the moment it was announced the musical would be "Mamma Mia" she wanted to play Sophie Sheridan.

Gabby Macogay


Role: Sophie Sheridan

Why did you want this role?

I was excited for this role. As soon as [drama instructor Roxane Caravan] announced we were doing “Mamma Mia!” I knew I wanted to be Sophie. She has a lot of big hopes and dreams for the world, and I think that emotional journey she goes through during the show is fun to play out.

How do you relate to your character?

I think she’s excitable. There’s a lot of bubbly, peppy moments, and when she gets excited, she’s jumpy. I think that’s the same way I react. She has a positive outlook and high hopes for the world, and so I think a lot of her positivity I relate to.

How did you prepare for your role?

Memorizing lines has been a big thing. She has a lot of dialogue with different people throughout the show. I’ve also been trying to rest my voice a lot. … It’s been a lot of vocal rest, memorization and trying to get in the head of the character, trying to figure out all about who she is and what she wants in the world.


Alex Kraus 

Alex Kraus, a senior, plays opposite his best friend, Gabby Macogay, as Sophie Sheridan's fiance, Sky Raymond. One reason Kraus wanted to play Raymond was because he frequently dances in the show.


Role: Sky Raymond

Why did you want this role?

When I was auditioning, Sam (Carmichael, one of Sophie Sheridan’s possible dads) and Sky (Sophie’s fiance) were two parts I thought would be nice. Gabby [Macogay] has been my best friend since sophomore year, and I heard she was auditioning for Sophie. Sam is on stage more, but Sky has more dancing, which is something I really like to do. Sky also plays opposite Sophie, so it’s really cool to be able to play opposite my best friend.

How do you relate to your character?

He’s sweet. I try to be caring. He works hard. In the beginning of the show, Donna (Sheridan, Sophie’s mom) talks about how Sky is helping her turn around her business, and I think I try to work really hard like he does.

How did you prepare for your role?

There’s always research actors do for a show. I watched the movies, which is very fun research, and then I looked up random stuff. There’s a whole “Mamma Mia!” Wikipedia, so I was able to find all the random information. … It’s been cool to be able to use a script and try and figure stuff out too.


Senior JT Girman brings Harry Bright, who is one of the three men who could possibly be Sophie Sheridan's dad. Girman wanted a role that would challenge him, especially as it's his last performance at Lakewood Ranch High School.

JT Girman


Role: Harry Bright

Why did you want this role?

I wanted to be one of the three dads, and Harry Bright was given to me. Each one of the dads is a very unique character in his own right. As a senior I played lots of different characters, but each one presented a different challenge. I felt that it would be a good way to end [the year by] challenging myself with a different type of character I didn’t play before.

How do you relate to your character?

He cares a lot about people in his past, and he’s a very loyal person. That’s how I would like to describe myself in a way because Harry and Donna don’t get married, but then instead of holding resentment of a past lover, Harry instead cares about Donna still. I have friends in my life I moved on from, but I think to this day if someone needed something, I would try to think of myself as the person who has the ability to outreach and do whatever is needed for a person.

How did you prepare for this role?

Any actor whenever they play a role needs to study the character. What is their motivation? Why are they doing that? Why are they saying what they’re saying? On top of that, I know for me what helps is whenever I get my blocking, I go back to my script and mark it and say: “Why would my character be moving at this point? Why would he be doing these things?” and then make choices about how a real person reacts, so just thinking about real life and relating it to the stage.


Jordan Cangro 

Junior Jordan Cangro plays Donna Sheridan. "It's such an awesome character to be because it empowers you as an actor and as a person," Cangro says.


Role: Donna Sheridan

Why did you want this role?

She’s perfectly in my vocal range, and I know I could portray this character well. She’s such a strong female icon. She’s an independent woman. She runs her own business. It’s such an awesome character to be because it empowers you as an actor and as a person.

How do you relate to your character?

I think she’s spunky, which I like to say I see in myself. She knows who she is, which is something I try to aspire to be. She’s so uniquely herself. She doesn’t let any of the three dads showing up change who she is and how she feels. She’s very confident in herself and what she’s accomplished, and that’s something I strive to be, and I hope to see in myself as well.

How did you prepare for your role?

It’s definitely different playing someone so much older than I am because she’s in her 40s. It’s a different mindset of not being a 17-year-old. It’s being an adult with a different mindset about how she goes about her relationship, like with her daughter and Sam, her love interest in the show. It’s this balancing act of everything in her life she handles very different than I think I would.

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