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Mamma Mia! - Broadway

A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you'll never forget!

Enter the Turtle-Filled Backstage Sanctuary of Mamma Mia! Star Lisa Brescia

Enter the Turtle-Filled Backstage Sanctuary of Mamma Mia! Star Lisa Brescia
'It's my eight-show-a-week survival kit.'

“This is my sanctuary,” Lisa Brescia says of her expansive dressing room at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre, home of the long-running musical hit Mamma Mia! Brescia has settled into the role mother of the bride and resident dancing queen Donna Sheridan, and the actress has filled her backstage space with keepsakes, photos and favorite samples from her turtle collection. Brescia welcomed for a pre-show visit and shared her five favorite things.

Photo by Jenny Anderson for

“These are my two best girlfriends, Annaleigh Ashford and Lindsay K. Northen. I met them in Wicked, and of all the gifts that Wicked gave me, having these two women in my life is the best treasure of all.”

“My husband is composer/lyricist Craig Carnelia, and we were married on New Year’s Eve 2009 after nine years together. We recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary, and he’s very precious to me, obviously!”

“I studied Shakespeare performance and analysis for the first time last summer at the Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab, which culminated in All’s Well That Ends Well. Now, I’m obsessed. These are some of my movies, the Complete Works and my Willy Shakes doll.”

“I went to Kyoto, Japan, in the 1990s when I was touring with the Mamas and the Papas and fell in love with the huge tortoises there. From that point on, I started collecting turtles. I have probably eight dozen little turtles, and these are just a sampling.”

“Over here, we have Throat Coat; ABC & Tea, which is vitamins and green tea extract; Olbas Pastilles; Entertainer’s Secret and my steamer. It’s my eight-show-a-week survival kit! If they had a Costco for these things, I would go.”

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