By Christopher Arnott
7:36 AM EST, November 22, 2013
Michael Colavolpe, whom many New Haven theatergoers remember as a co-founder of the local Theatremania troupe, which did shows at the old Artspace and elsewhere, 10-25 years ago, plays Bill Austin in the new touring cast of the ABBA musical Mamma Mia. The show plays New Haven's Shubert this weekend, Nov. 14-16.
It's a special homecoming for Colavoipe, who grew up in the city but has lived in Orlando, Florida for most of the last decade. The actor/director was part of a thriving local theater scene in Southern Connecticut in the 1990s, performing in everything from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown to the Polish robot play R.U.R. He met his partner Kevin Bee while doing the musical Hair at Performance Studio (now the site of Shake Shack) on Chapel Street; they've been together now for 25 years.
Theatremania performed in a variety of venues over the years, then found a steady home in a restaurant/club on Captain Thomas Blvd. in West Haven. When Colavolpe and Bee moved to Orlando (where they found work performing and stage managing in theme parks) Theatremania eventually petered out, though many members of the company remain active in local theater. (Theatremania co-founder T. Sean Maher is currently playing Daddy Warbucks in Annie Jr. at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport).
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