Group tickets for the May 2000 Toronto run of the London hit musical Mamma Mia -- which opened in April at the West End's Prince Edward Theatre to ecstatic notices -- are now on sale. Tickets can be bought by calling (416) 593-4142 or 1-800-724-6420.
As of yet, single tickets are not available and no date has been set for their release. Neither have Mamma Mia's specific playing dates at the Royal Alexandra Theater in Toronto been settled. The ABBA tuner will play for what will possibly be a six-month stay.
A London spokesman for the show told Playbill On-Line (July 15) that an American transfer of Mamma Mia! is currently being discussed, though nothing definite had been decided. "We're really just taking one step at a time," producer Judy Craymer told the New York Times (July 16). "But Broadway is obviously a dream that everyone would like to achieve."
In other news, the London cast album of Mamma Mia! will be released in November of this year.
Mamma Mia collects a couple dozen hit songs by the Swedish supergroup ABBA and shapes them around the story of a single mother and her young daughter's marriage on a Greek isle. In structure, it resembles Saturday Night Fever, another London-born musical built around already existing hits by a popular singing group -- in that case, the disco kings, The Bee Gees. Among the songs used in Mamma Mia are such familiar 70s staples as "Dancing Queen," "Knowing Me, Knowing You," "S.O.S.," "Take a Chance on Me" and "The Winner Takes It All." The latter ballad is fashioned as a melodramatic, eleven o'clock number for the musical's star, Siobhan McCarthy, a West End veteran who has appeared in Evita , Jesus Christ Superstar and Les Miserables.
Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, the songwriting half of ABBA, previously wrote the musical Chess, which enjoyed an extended run at the Prince Edward in the 1980s in a production directed by Trevor Nunn, currently artistic director of the National Theatre.
Since opening to rave reviews, Mamma Mia has broken British box office records and routinely sold out every performance, making it the most sought-after ticket in London.
Mamma Mia is directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. It is designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce and musical supervision by Martin Koch.
--By Robert Simonson