The North American company of the ABBA-hit-filled Mamma Mia!, now in Toronto, will travel south of the Canadian border in 2000-2001 to San Francisco, Chicago and elsewhere.
San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre will see the London and Toronto hit first, this fall. Dates there are expected to be announced within the next 10 days. Los Angeles will also see the show, perhaps at the Shubert Theatre. A May opening is set for Chicago, and Boston has been mentioned in the mix. Dates will be forthcoming.
A Broadway sitdown following the American tour was the popular expectation, but it is conceivable that a separate Broadway company will be created, according to a spokesman. The current North American company will play Chicago's Cadillac Palace in May 2001, after San Francisco and L.A., which means the tour company would not land on Broadway in 2000-2001. An announcement about Broadway is expected in the coming months.
The hit tuner, continuing to Sept. 10 at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre, 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 the love of her life, her mother is haunted by three different men who may or may not be her daughter's father. The musical began in London, England, and was an instant hit. The Toronto version has broken box office records there, moving 7,321 tickets on May 24, the day after opening.
The well-received Toronto production opened May 23 after beginning previews May 11.
The mother and daughter in Toronto are Louise Pitre and Tina Maddigan. The cast includes Adam Brazier, Gary Lynch, Lee MacDougall, Mary Ellen Mahoney, David Mucci and Gabrielle Jones.
Among 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."
Mamma Mia! is directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast.
For Toronto ticket information, call (416) 872-1212 or (800) 461 3333.
-- By Kenneth Jones
and Christine Ehren