Broadway fans across the world will be flocking to New York City in the coming months to see the critically acclaimed musical Mama Mia one last time in the Broadhurst Theater before the show ends its fourteen year run in September. The musical is based around the discography of ABBA and includes some of their biggest hits including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” and the track from which the musical was named. The show debuted on Broadway in October of 2001 to rave reviews and rapidly amassed a following.
Mama Mia was produced by Judy Craymer as a way to enlighten a new generation about the music of ABBA after the band broke up in the 1980s. She was intrigued by the concept of using ABBA’s international hit songs as a way to direct a story entirely unrelated to the band. As such, the story is set on a Greek island and focuses on the relationship between a mother daughter pair as the daughter prepares to meet her estranged father for the first time. Add in the fact that the daughter is arranging this meeting shortly before her wedding, and the drama kicks into overdrive. With the powerful hits of ABBA supporting the story, Mama Mia’s production was unique from the beginning.
Before making its Broadway debut, Mama Mia debuted in London’s West End in 1999 and was performed across the United States in 2000. Since then the London production has moved theatres twice and has been performed at the Prince of Wales Theatre and the Novello Theatre. The show hit America with the first performances taking place in San Francisco, California. After travelling the country, the production settled down in New York. While in New York it was performed in a variety of theaters before settling down at the Broadhurst Theater in November of 2013. This is where the show’s final performances will take place. The Broadway production’s original cast included performances from Louise Pitre, Judy Kate, and Karen Mason.
Mama Mia will have entertained fans through 5,765 performances by the time it breaks set after the final show on September 5, 2015. The show’s prolific run makes it the eighth-longest running musical on Broadway and has grossed more than $600 million during the fourteen year run. Although the show’s run on Broadway is coming to a close, Mama Mia has toured internationally since its debut in 1999.
In 2008 a film adaptation of the musical was released with Meryl Streep, Julie Waters, Amanda Seyfried, and several other high profile actors filling the roles. The film grossed more than $602 million dollars in box office sales worldwide and went on to become the fifth highest-grossing film of the year. Both the musical and the film adaptation have been nominated for a collection of accolades and have taken home several over the course of the production’s run.
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