By Sam Watson
BRAD Boucher is someone who knows his way around a musical.
The Wonthaggi man joined the Wonthaggi Theatrical Group back in 2007 when his sons Caleb and Jed were involved in Singin’ in the Rain.
The year after, he auditioned for Les Miserables and hasn’t looked back.
Pippen in 2015 stands out as one of his favourite past productions, but this year’s production of Mamma Mia holds a special place in his heart.
Brad plays Bill, one of Sophie’s potential dads, and Sophie is played by Brad’s daughter Abi.
“I’m hoping that I could pass off as at least one of her dads,” Brad said.
He said there’s a bit of friendly banter amongst him and the other potential dads, Kim O’Connor and Simon Furniss, about who the real dad is.
And he couldn’t be prouder of the way his daughter has taken on the role of Sophie.
“I’m super proud of Abi. It’s very hard not to get emotional when she starts singing the sweeter stuff,” Brad said.
“When we interact with each other on stage, it gets so intense and it’s a really hard place to go to emotionally because I’m worried I’m gonna cry in spots where
I’m not supposed to.
“She’s just so talented and has really risen to this role, and I’m super proud to be her dad, her real dad,” Brad said.
But the father-daughter connection isn’t the only thing that makes Brad love this year’s production.
He is a huge fan of ABBA.
Brad’s parents said he knew every word to every ABBA song in existence when he was five.
And he’s loved every moment of belting out their songs again.
“After a day at work, you’re tired and you stress about going to rehearsals but then you remember, it’s ABBA songs.”
“You can’t walk away from a rehearsal of ABBA music and not feel utter joy.
“This has probably been one of the most fun, upbeat and happy musicals I’ve been a part of; it’s pretty hard to beat ABBA.”
And the relationships Brad built with everyone have been a big reason he keeps coming back every year.
“It’s been a great community with good solid friendships that will last forever,” Brad said.
The excitement he’s heard from the public is already very tangible.
“I’ve had multiple people come up to me and say, ‘we can’t wait to come and see Mamma Mia’, and I have no doubt the public are going to thrilled.
“It’s so energetic and the costumes are beautifully period to the story. The set is insane; you’ll believe that you’re actually there.”
“If the audiences don’t leave happy, I don’t think I know how to make them happy.”