5 Questions with Lauren Kennedy, who will portray "Donna" in NC Theatre's Production of "Mamma Mia!"
Starting on February 12th and running through the 17th, NC Theatre will be showcasing North Carolina natives, Lauren Kennedy and Eric Woodall, in its production of Mamma Mia! at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Before this much-loved show, based on the songs of ABBA, hits the stage, we were able to pop in for five questions with Lauren Kennedy, who will portray Donna in the musical.
You play "Donna" in the show. What do you like most about this character?
Lauren was eager to talk about the parallels between her own life and Donna's life. She said, "I love that I get to draw so heavily on my own experience." She explains that, "Donna is a former performer who gave it up to raise a child and build a business. That is very parallel to what I have done with my life, moving to Raleigh and starting Theatre Raleigh."
What has been the most challenging part of playing Donna?
Again showing her strong connection to the character of Donna, Lauren answered our question by describing "a scene where Donna helps her daughter get ready for her wedding and sings a song of missed opportunities and the time flying by." Lauren explains that, "That resonates with me and my own life. My daughter is only 14, but I feel that connection. So, the hardest part to me is being able to get through that song without turning into a blubbering, snotty, crying mess."
Why do you think this musical has become so wildly popular since it first debuted?
It's no secret that Mamma Mia! is considered a "smash hit" in the theatre world. Reflecting on its popularity, Lauren said, "I think people LOVE the music. It creates a sense of fun and abandoning your stress and cares. There is something very Shakespearean with all its mischief and misinformation. I think the audience loves going on the roller coaster ride to the tunes of ABBA!"
What are you most excited for Raleigh audiences to see/enjoy in the show?
When asked this question, Lauren couldn't hide her love of her fellow cast-mates. She explained that, "It is an awesome and diverse group of humans that come together to celebrate love, female empowerment, and finding out who you are."
What is your favorite ABBA song of all time?
We asked this question just for fun, but Lauren had a ready answer. She said her favorite was "Take a Chance on Me," which she remarked is "sadly not one of the ones I sing [in the show]." She explains how, "I have very vivid memories of being a kid and loving the back-up vocals the men sang- 'take a chance, take a chance, take a chance chance.'" Lauren also mentioned how "the more traditional answer is 'Dancing Queen,'" a song she describes as "undeniable and irresistible. You can't hear it and not sing along. I dare you to try!"
We'll all be able to take Lauren up on this dare when the show premieres February 12th. You can get tickets now by clicking here.
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