Mamma Mia!, the wildly successful and Olivier-nominated London musical of ABBA tunes, will makes its North American bow at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre May 11. The run will continue through Nov. 4.
Group tickets for the show have been available through Ticketmaster since October 1999. Single tickets will go on sale in March. Prices are $93 $20.
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. McCarthy and her co-stars Jenny Galloway and Louise Plowright were nominated for 2000 Olivier Awards, while the musical itself got a nod for the top prize.
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.
The London cast album of Mamma Mia!, featuring 24 tracks from the show, is currently available. Mamma Mia is on the web at http://www.mamma-mia.com.