It'll have been only a year and a half when it returns, but Los Angeles is already calling Encore! to Mamma Mia!, the hit British musical comedy composed entirely of ABBA tunes. Mamma Mia! will play the Ahmanson Theatre for seven weeks beginning Sept. 17.
Mamma Mia! is offered as a part of the Broadway L.A. 2002/2003 season. For information about tickets, call (213) 628-2772. The Ahmanson Theatre is on the web at http://www.TaperAhmanson.com.
Currently the tour stars Dee Hoty. Hoty, who took over for Louise Pitre as Donna in Chicago, was three-times Tony-nominated for Footloose, Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public and The Will Rogers Follies. Other credits include Broadway's City of Angels, Me & My Girl, Big River and The Five O'Clock Girl. Also in the Mamma Mia! cast are Michelle Aravena as Donna's daughter Sophie, Gary P. Lynch as Sam, Ryan Silverman as Sky, Gabrielle Jones as Rosie and the Donna understudy, Mary Ellen Mahoney as Tanya, Mark Zimmerman as Harry, Craig Bennett as Bill, Miku Graham as Lisa, Nicole Fraser as Ali, Adam Fleming as Eddie and Sal Scozzari as Pepper.
Lynch portrayed Javert on Broadway and has toured the U.S. as El Gallo in The Fantasticks. Jones, last at Toronto's Royal Alexandra in Les Miserables, has spent six seasons with the Shaw Festival and four with the Stratford festival. Mahoney starred in the Royal Alexandra's Crazy For You, also performing on the Royal Alex stage in The Heidi Chronicles and Singin’ and Dancin’ Tonight. She won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for her appearance in A Little Night Music and was nominated as the lead in Beckett's Happy Days. 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. While the daughter plans her future with the love of her life, she and her mother are haunted by three different men who may or may not be her daughter's father.
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."
Andersson and 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.
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.
Mamma Mia! opened at Broadway's renovated Winter Garden Theatre Oct. 18, 2001, after previews beginning Oct. 5.