WHEREAS Jennifer Swiderski is a native of Manassas, whose first experiences as an actor took place in Arlington, only 33.4 miles from the geographic center of Manassas, where she worked with Eric Schaeffer, first as a member of the Arlington County Player and later as a cast member at Signature; AND
WHEREAS Swiderski is appearing tonight in Mamma Mia! at Wolf Trap, and her parents are coming to the show, as are a number of high school friends; AND
"This is my first time being on this side of the boards at Wolf Trap," says Swiderski, who has lived in New York City since she graduated from Florida State University. "The last time i was there as a kid I got stung by a bee...I was running, frolicking, and I tripped."
WHEREAS the only event scheduled for the City of Manassas today is the School Board Organizational Meeting at 9 a.m. in council chambers, and that surely must have ended by now; AND
Swiderski has been on tour with Mamma Mia! since last August. Stops she's enjoyed include Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Anchorage, Alaska. Recently she was on the West Coast, where she says the weather was "just delightful." On landing at Dulles, though, Swiderski says, "I took a big whiff of East Coast humid-summer air. It made me smile." When pressed by a surprised reporter on what exactly she likes about the air in Washington in the summertime, Swiderski says, "It just smells different. It just smells good. I’ll take it."
Swiderski says she and fellow castmembers at times "need the assistance of friends" getting the song out of their heads, sometimes by singing commercial jingles. This has not dampened her enthusiasm for the music of Abba any; if anything, being in this show has made her appreciate the Swedish masters of pop songs even more than when she first heard them in the film Muriel's Wedding.
"Learning the music was a very happy surprise," Swiderski says. "Abba were incredible musicians and the vocals are so good to sing. I’m still impressed with the musicianship of the group. It’s not your typical pop. I think that’s what makes the show."
The actor, who understudies the roles of Tanya and Rosie, sings in the ensemble, and appears as a knitting grandmother at the start of the show, says Abba's music is "oftentimes very poignant and touching. I was not familiar with 'One of Us' or 'The Winner Takes It All.' Those are gut-wrenching ballads but they were honest-to-God pop hits."
WHEREAS Swiderski often visits home, nowadays mostly taking the Bolt Bus instead of Amtrak, but rarely performs here...
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT TODAY, JULY 1, 2011, IS DECLARED "JENNIFER SWIDERSKI DAY" IN THE CITY OF MANASSAS.
Mamma Mia! runs to Sunday at Wolf Trap.