Here We Go Again: SDHS Alumni & Friends Perform Mamma Mia!

Elizabeth Petruso, Staff Writer

Mamma Mia, here we go again! This past weekend, numerous former Crusaders, as well as current SDHS parents and friends, took the stage to put on Mamma Mia!, the first annual alumni summer performance. 

Audience members were greeted with beverages and an energetic environment the moment they walked into the Sister Mary Bender Lobby. The excitement only grew as they entered the theatre.

One’s first impression of the theatre was the immaculate set, which looked like it came straight from the film. The night only got better as the show began and the audience became captivated by the lovely vocals, fun choreography and mesmerizing costumes.

Sounds of clapping, hooting and hollering refused to cease when the entire cast entered back on stage at the end of the show in star-studded costumes to sing crowd favorites like “Waterloo.” The joy of the cast radiated from the stage into the audience, creating an exuberant evening. But the sequined costumes weren’t the only things that were shining on stage this weekend.

Cathy Pescarino, mother of recent graduate Luke and senior Joe Pescarino, had the honor of playing the lead role of Donna Sheridan. Pescarino, who now spends most of her time behind the scenes for theatre, has a history of performing and was a brilliant leading lady onstage.

“I don’t think I can put into words how thankful I am for the opportunity to do something I love, with people that I love, in a community that I love. It was a complete gift! I set aside my passion for performing on stage years ago so to reopen this piece of me felt amazing!” Pescarino said.

Some other familiar names that shared the stage with Pescarino in Mamma Mia! were Kaitlyn Pepper (‘18), Lori Cook (‘19), Dana (‘88) and Wade (‘89) Johnson, Nancy Holden-Nims and Tina Bishop.

Many of the cast didn’t have any theatre experience prior to Mamma Mia!, but they learned a lot about what it takes to be on stage.

“The two hardest things were the huge time commitment, and I was only ensemble, and secondly, just getting over the nervousness of performing on stage,” Tom Larner said.

Larner is the father of junior Taylor and sophomore Tori Larner, who are both invested in their unique styles of performing arts.

“I always knew they were extremely dedicated to their stage performances and always pour their heart and soul into doing their very best, but now I’ve experienced firsthand just how difficult that commitment is! I will be watching and admiring them both in a completely different light now after being a part of Mamma Mia!,” Larner said.

But Larner, who had never performed on stage before, wasn’t the only one who encountered something new with this show.

Tables were turned for junior Caleb Stoddard, who regularly performs in SDHS productions, when he received the opportunity to watch his parents on stage.

“It was strange to watch my parents onstage because usually our roles are reversed. Once they got on stage I quickly got over it and was excited to watch them. I am proud of them for getting out of their comfort zones and stepping into my shoes,” Stoddard said.

The first annual alumni performance was beloved by all, and not only are friends and family anticipating the performance next year, but current students are also looking forward to their chance to perform at St. Dominic once again after graduating.

“They did such an amazing job that I would return every year, because I’m confident they will continue to put on such great performances. I hope to be able to be in the show after I become an alumni,” Stoddard said.

Congratulations to the cast and crew on the success of Mamma Mia! The St. Dominic community is looking forward to future alumni performances.