Australia -- arguably one of the strongest starting points for the ABBA resurgence (thanks to "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Muriel's Wedding") will get their own Mamma Mia! in mid-2001. The debut will take place in Melbourne at a theatre to be announced.
Casting begins in Sept. 2000. Judy Craymer, Richard East and Bjorn Ulvaeus for Littlestar will produce, in association with Universal and Dainty Consolidated Entertainment.
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 the love of her life, her mother is 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.