West End ABBA-fest Mamma Mia May Come to Broadway

News   West End ABBA-fest Mamma Mia May Come to Broadway
 
The London hit musical Mamma Mia may be in Broadway's future. A spokesman for the show, which opened in April at the Prince Edward Theatre to ecstatic notices, told Playbill On-Line that an American transfer was in discussion, though nothing definite had been decided.
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The London hit musical Mamma Mia may be in Broadway's future. A spokesman for the show, which opened in April at the Prince Edward Theatre to ecstatic notices, told Playbill On-Line that an American transfer was in discussion, though nothing definite had been decided.

"We're really just taking one step at a time," producer Judy Craymer told the New York Times. "But Broadway is obviously a dream that everyone would like to achieve." She added that a trip to the Royal Alexandra Theater in Toronto for next May was already in place.

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, Broadway-bound 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 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.

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