Mamma Mia! closes as the eighth longest-running show in Broadway history. It premiered Oct. 18, 2001, at the Winter Garden Theatre, where it continued through Oct. 19, 2013. The production then transferred to its current home, the Broadhurst, on Nov. 2, 2013. In its various productions the show has grossed a reported $2 billion worldwide.
Louise Pitre, who created the role of Donna Sheridan, earning a Tony nomination for her performance, recently told Playbill.com, "I have countless memories but #1 has to be the overwhelming response we got during previews. It was so soon after 9/11, and I was not ready for the reaction. I would come out at the stage door and be hugged, kissed, thanked by crying, appreciative fans who kept saying: 'Thank you for giving us two-and-a-half hours of joy and allowing us to forget!!!!' It was a heightened and special time. I have never felt so loved as a performer."
Judy McLane, who now plays Donna after several years of portraying Tanya, added, "After 11 years, there are so many [memories]. For the 10th anniversary, we performed the finale outside on a stage, in the middle of Broadway, with fireworks going off on top of the theatre. That was pretty exhilarating! And, of course, all backstage shenanigans, such as Christmas-door decorating competitions, in-house Olympics, 'Da Mamma Code' quests and horoscope club! They were ridiculously fun!"
The hit musical had its London premiere April 6, 1999. It is now in its 16th year in the West End. It was adapted as a film in 2008 and grossed more than $144 million in the U.S. alone, currently holding the title of top-grossing musical film ever. A film sequel is reportedly in the works.
With music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, Mamma Mia! is written by Catherine Johnson and directed by Phyllida Lloyd. The production has choreography by Anthony Van Laast, production design by Mark Thompson, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce and Bobby Aitken, and musical supervision, additional material and arrangements by Martin Koch.
Mamma Mia! is producer Judy Craymer's vision of writer Johnson's "sunny, funny tale of family and friendship unfolding on a tiny Greek island. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings 3 men from her mother's past back to the island they had last visited 20 years ago," according to press notes.
Songs include "Dancing Queen," "The Winner Takes It All," "Money, Money, Money" and "Take a Chance on Me."
The Broadhurst Theatre is located at 235 West 44th Street. For more information visit mammamianorthamerica.com.
Here are highlights from the musical, as compiled by Playbill Video: