Shelton talent headlines Center Stage’s Mamma Mia!

Center Stage Theatre’s production of Mamma Mia! will feature leading ladies, left to right, Denis Smoker, Carla Sullivan and Michelle Lambert.

Center Stage Theatre’s production of Mamma Mia! will feature leading ladies, left to right, Denis Smoker, Carla Sullivan and Michelle Lambert.

Contributed photo /

Two Shelton families are helping bring Center Stage Theatre’s production of Mamma Mia! to life beginning next week.

Mamma Mia!, a lively, musical Broadway blockbuster featuring songs by ABBA, opens Feb. 7 and runs through Feb. 27. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m., with a Thursday, Feb. 20, performance at 7 p.m. Two new dates - Saturday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m., and Thursday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. - have been added.

One Shelton family, the Sullivans, are returning after a long hiatus. Carla Sullivan plays lead character, Donna Sheriden, while Elise Sullivan, Carla’s real-life daughter, plays Donna’s daughter, Sophie. Sean Sullivan, real-life husband to Carla and real-life father to Elise, plays the character of Sam Carmichael.

“The dynamics of real-life mother/daughter, and father/daughter relationships makes Center Stage’s production of Mamma Mia! truly special,” said Lenore Wszolek, Center Stage Theatre director of administration.

The story revolves around Sophie and her coming marriage. Her dream is to be led to the alter by her father. Donna brought up Sophie alone, so she does not know the man’s name. Finding her mother’s personal diary, which she has been writing for nine months before the birth of her daughter, Sophie found that her mom had three romances in that period, so she decided to invite Sam, Bill and Harry to the wedding in hopes to find out which man is her father.

“We are a musical theater family,” said Carla. “We all love music and enjoy seeing concerts and shows together. The rehearsal process has been intense and it’s a challenge to balance work commitments with learning lines, songs and Rob’s (Rob Merante) amazing choreography. Mostly, it has been so much fun performing as a family and being directed by Justin (Zenchuk), who is a part of our extended ‘family.’ We are blessed.”

Lillian and Carter Trembley, real-life mother and son, will be performing onstage together while husband/father, Scott, assists behind the scenes for the production.

“I just wanted to say that being able to work with my mom on shows is an incredible experience,” said Carter. “We’ve had our rough patches like every family does, but overall, being in productions together brings us together more every day, and it’s great.”

Wszolek said all four members of the Trembley family have been involved in Center Stage since 2005 as performers, backstage crew and are active volunteers at the theater.

“If you have seen a production at Center Stage, you have seen one or more members of the Trembley family either in the production, ushering or running concessions,” said Wszolek. “When home from college, Colby, the oldest son, volunteers at Center Stage or will be seen in the audience supporting his family during a run of a show.”

“For me, the greatest joy of working on the same show together is that I don’t have to hang alone at home during all the rehearsals,” added Scott. “Theater is truly the only venue that all four of us enjoy. Being a part of a production that involves family members and allows me to do something I love with people I love.”

For tickets, visit or call 203-225-6079.