By Christine Ehren
and Robert Simonson
18 Oct 2001
|Photo by Photo by Joan Marcus|
"The Winner Takes it All," Louise Pitre sings in Mamma Mia!, and if the past is any indicator of the future, she's talking about her show. The new musical comedy incorporating hit tunes by Swedish supergroup ABBA opens Oct. 18 at the newly-renovated Winter Garden.
Mamma Mia! features original Toronto stars, Pitre as Donna and Tina Maddigan as her daughter Sophie. A Dora Mavor Moore Award (Toronto's Tony) winner for Mamma Mia!, Piaf and Blood Brothers, Pitre's 20 years of credits include musical theatre stints with Les Miserables, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd and Cabaret. Sophie is Maddigan's first major role. She graduated in 1998 as a Musical Theatre major at Sheridan College.
As partners in Donna's former singing trio, cabaret's Karen Mason plays gal pal Tonya and Ragtime's Judy Kaye as Rosie. As the trio of possible Dads for Sophie, Toronto Mamma Mia! replacement cast member David Keeley is the architect Sam, Dean Nolen (Tabletop is adventurous American journalist Harry and Ken Marks (When They Speak of Rita) is the proper Englishman Bill. Joe Machota, who has toured as Ren in Footloose and Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, is Sophie's fiance, Sky.
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 Bobby Aitken and musical supervision by Martin Koch.
For tickets in New York, call (212) 239-6262. Mamma Mia! is on the web at http://www.mamma mia.com.
To read Playbill On-Line's Brief Encoutner with Louise Pitre, visit http://www5.playbill.com/cgi bin/plb/feature?cmd=show&code=109313.