Marinette, Wis.—Opening nights are always exciting but the July 19, 2019 performance of “Mamma Mia!” at Theatre on the Bay (UW-Green Bay’s Marinette Campus) really proved that anything can happen during live theatre. During the show’s finale (a reprise of three earlier numbers) the power went out leaving the company in the dark. Without missing a beat, but without their recorded musical tracks to accompany them, the actors continued singing and dancing.
As cast member Lydia LeBoeuf put it, “We were going to finish ‘Waterloo’!” And finish they did, with audience members pointing cell phone lights at the stage, the company finished their performance a cappella. Lighting designer Chris Weber joked on social media, “I’m taking the day off tomorrow. The audience has got this.”
“having been involved with this theatre for almost 40 out of the 53 years TOB has been putting on performances, I have heard about or can attest to quite a few unique experiences occurring on stage, ” said cast member Lisa Atkinson-LeBoeuf.
Ranging from a fire set off by a flash pot and nonchalantly put out by a leading man without losing a beat of dialogue to the leading lady breaking her ankle on stage at the end of Act I and the production going back up a week later, TOB performers seemed to always come through in a pinch. But, from what I know, performing a large musical finale without music in a blackout is a first.“
Director John Thornberry said the cast really came through in the clutch, “They really were ‘super troupers.’”
A video of the final moments of the show has circulated online as audience members couldn’t resist posting the unusual occurrence. You can follow Theatre on the Bay’s business page on Facebook. More information may be found at https://www.uwgb.edu/marinette/life-on-campus/fine-performing-arts/theatre/. The company is performing three more shows on July 26, 27, and 28. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 pm and Sunday’s show is at 2 pm. Performances take place in the Herbert L. Williams theatre on the UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus at 750 W. Bay Shore Street in Marinette. Tickets, which are selling quickly, may be purchased online at www.tinyurl.com/mammamiatob, at the box office (open one hour before every performance), or by calling 715-735-4300 and pressing “1” at the prompt (Monday through Friday during business hours only).