- Mamma Mia!
Mamma Mia! at the
Prince of Wales Theatre, the current venue for Mamma Mia! in London
Music Björn Ulvaeus
Lyrics Björn Ulvaeus
Book Catherine Johnson Basis Songs of ABBA Productions 1999 West End
2002 U.S. Tour
2002 International Tour
2003 Las Vegas
2005 Seoul, Korea
2005 Essen, Germany
2006 Hong Kong
2006 U.S. Tour
2007 North American Tour
2007 Australian Tour Germany
2008 Australaisan Tour
2008 Hong Kong
2009 Dutch Tour
2009 Spanish Tour
2009 Mexico City
2010 South Africa
2010 São Paulo
2011 Shanghai Chinese Edition
2012 Buenos Aires
2012 Manila + Several other International productions in major cities across the world.
Mamma Mia! is a stage musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. Although the title of the musical is taken from the group's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia", the plot is fictional, not biographical. Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, who composed the original music for ABBA, were involved in the development of the show from the beginning. Anni-Frid Lyngstad has been involved financially in the production and she has also been present at many of the premieres around the world. The musical includes such hits as "Super Trouper", "Lay All Your Love On Me", "Dancing Queen", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Take A Chance On Me", "Thank You for the Music", "Money, Money, Money", "The Winner Takes It All", "Voulez Vous" and "SOS". Over 42 million people have now seen the show which has grossed $2 billion dollars worldwide. A film adaptation starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters was released in July 2008.
- 1 Background
- 2 Productions
- 3 Synopsis
- 4 Musical numbers
- 5 Principal roles and cast
- 6 Film adaptation
- 7 Awards and nominations
- 8 Response
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Mamma Mia! is based on the songs of ABBA. ABBA was a Swedish pop/dance group active from 1972–1982 and was one of the most internationally popular pop groups of all time, topping the charts again and again in Europe, North America and Australia. Following the premiere of the musical in London in 1999, ABBA Gold topped the charts in the United Kingdom again. This musical was the brainchild of producer Judy Craymer. She met songwriters Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson in 1983 when they were working with Tim Rice on Chess. It was the song "The Winner Takes It All" that suggested to her the theatrical potential of their pop songs. The songwriters were not enthusiastic, but they were not completely opposed to the idea.
In 1997, Craymer commissioned Catherine Johnson to write the book for the musical. In 1998, Phyllida Lloyd became the director for the show. It is unusual for three women to form the collaboration behind a commercial success in musical theatre.
Original London production
The musical opened in the West End at the Prince Edward Theatre on 6 April 1999 and transferred to the Prince of Wales Theatre on 9 June 2004, where it is playing as of 2011. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd with choreography by Anthony Van Laast, the original cast featured Siobhan McCarthy, Lisa Stokke, and Hilton McRae. The show will move to the Novello Theatre in September 2012 after the 2012 Olympics.
It opened in Toronto at the Royal Alexandra Theatre on 23 May 2000, directed by Phyllida Lloyd with choreography by Anthony Van Laast, with the production designed by Mark Thompson and lighting by Howard Harrison. It closed on 22 May 2005.
Original Broadway production
Prior to the musical's Broadway engagement, it made its US debut in San Francisco, California at the Orpheum Theatre from 17 November 2000 to 17 February 2001, moving next to Los Angeles, California at the Shubert Theatre from 26 February 2001 to 12 May 2001, and finally to Chicago, Illinois at the Cadillac Palace from 13 May 2001 to 12 August 2001. The musical opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre on 18 October 2001 and is currently running, as of 2011. The director is Phyllida Lloyd with choreography by Anthony Van Laast.
Las Vegas production
In the United States, Mamma Mia! played in Las Vegas, opening at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in February 2003 and closing on January 4, 2009. In June 2005, Mamma Mia! played its 1000th performance in Las Vegas, becoming the longest-running West End/Broadway musical in Las Vegas. The clothes and scenarios from this production are now used in Brazil.
Mamma Mia has a North American Tour, Spanish Tour, South African tour, Japanese tour, Korean tour and an International Tour. The US tour started in Providence, Rhode Island in 2002, and has since played more than 120 cities as of its 6th anniversary in 2008.BWW News Desk." 'Mamma Mia!' US Tour Hits 2500th Show Tonight" broadwayworld.com, February 27, 2008</ref> The 10th anniversary Australian Tour has just finished its run in Brisbane. There was also an Australasian Tour from 2001–2005, and a Dutch tour in 2009 - 2010. The International Tour has visited Dublin, Edinburgh, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Estonia, Lisbon, Brussels, Paris, Cologne, Oberhausen, Munich, Erfurt, Vienna, Liepzig, Frankfurt, Zurich, Berlin, Vienna, Belfast, Edinburgh, Pretoria, Manchester, Doha, Dubai, Copenhagen, Riga, Helsinki, Tel Aviv, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Budapest, Bratislava, Prague, Bristol, Vilnius, Horsens, Glasgow, Athens, Monte Carlo, Paris, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Turku, Helsinki, Istanbul, Malmo, Kuala Lumpur, Vienna, Milan, Geneva, Trieste, Florence, Aalborg, Forli, Lisbon, Bangkok, Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington, Taiwan, Newcastle, Baden Baden, Hanover, Munich, Nurnburg, Graz, Basel, Liverpool, Belgrade, Cork and Linkoping.
A South African tour is beginning at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town on 11 August 2010, and will be followed by 3 months at The Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg. The production stars an all local cast.
As of 2011, the musical has been performed in sixteen languages: English, German, Norwegian, Japanese, Dutch, Flemish, Korean, Spanish, Swedish and Russian, French, Danish, Italian, Portuguese Indonesian and Chinese. In addition to the tours, the show has had (and in some cases, still has) permanent productions in London, Toronto, New York, Hamburg, Rome, Tokyo, Utrecht, Las Vegas, Seoul, Stuttgart, Madrid, Osaka, Daegu, Stockholm, Antwerp, Moscow, Seongnam, Gothenburg, Fukuoka, Berlin, Barcelona, Nagoya, Mexico, Milan, and Brazil. Lone van Roosendaal has played Donna in three different countries and in three different languages: English, Dutch (understudy) and German. Jackie Clune plays Donna in the International Tour cast.
On the Greek island of Calicos, Sophie, a 20-year-old young woman, is preparing to marry her fiancé, Sky. She wants her father to walk her down the aisle, ("Prologue: I Have A Dream") but doesn't know who he is. Sophie discovers her mother's old diary and finds entries which describe intimate dates with three men (Sam Carmichael, Bill Andersson, and Harry Bright) ("Honey, Honey"). Sophie believes that one of these men is her father and, three months prior to the wedding, sends each an invitation to her wedding writing in the name of her mother, Donna, without letting the unsuspecting latter know.
The day before the wedding, Donna begins receiving guests at her taverna. The first to arrive are her old best friends, Tanya, a rich woman who has been married and divorced three times, and Rosie, an unmarried, carefree woman. The trio used to be a girl group called Donna and the Dynamos. The three women catch up and talk about how their lives have been ("Money, Money, Money").
Later that day, Sophie's three possible fathers arrive: Sam (an American architect), Harry (a British banker), and Bill (a Swedish writer and adventurer). Sophie convinces them not to tell Donna that she invited them ("Thank You for the Music"). Donna is surprised to see her ex-lovers ("Mamma Mia") and leaves in tears. Donna, crying, explains to Tanya and Rosie the situation, and they cheer her up ("Chiquitita"). Tanya and Rosie try to convince Donna that she can still be the girl that she once was ("Dancing Queen").
Sophie had hoped that she would know her father the moment she saw him, but is now only confused. She tries to tell her fiancé, Sky, how she feels without confessing what she has done. Sky tells her that he will be the only man she ever needs ("Lay All Your Love on Me").
At Sophie's hen night, Donna and the Dynamos don their old costumes and perform a song, "Super Trouper". Sam, Bill and Harry accidentally walk in on the party, but the guests persuade them to stay ("Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"). Sophie first pulls Sam out of the room to talk to him. After he asks why he is here, she is overcome with guilt, and goes to talk to Harry instead. But Harry asks if Sophie's father is at the party, and she tells him the whole truth. Lastly, she draws Bill aside to talk with him. She learns that Bill has an aunt Sophia who left all her money to Donna's family. Bill learns that Donna built the taverna with money she inherited from a friend she lived with when Sophie was a baby; that friend was Bill's aunt. They both think that this means he is her father.
Sophie asks Bill to walk her down the aisle, but Bill wants to discuss it first with Donna. This has been her secret after all. But no one knows yet that even Donna does not know who the father is, because she slept with the three men in such swift succession. Sophie insists that they must not tell Donna anything ("The Name of the Game") and finally, Bill agrees.
Afterward, everybody crashes the hen party (including the boys from the stag party). During the dance, Sam pulls Sophie aside and tells her that he has figured out why she invited him. He knows that he is her father, and promises to walk her down the aisle the next day. Then, Harry approaches Sophie, apologizing for being so slow on the uptake, and he is also convinced that she is his daughter and promises to walk her down the aisle. Sophie leaves the party, hopelessly confused; she doesn't want to turn any of them down ("Voulez-Vous").
(Entr'acte) Sophie is having a nightmare, involving her three possible fathers all fighting for the right to walk her down the aisle and wakes up despairing ("Under Attack").
Sophie is upset, and Donna assumes that Sophie wants to cancel the wedding and offers to handle all the details. Sophie is offended and vows that her children will not grow up not knowing who their father is. As Sophie storms out of the room, Sam enters and tries to tell Donna that Sophie may not be all she seems, but Donna will not listen ("One of Us"). She hates Sam; at the end of their affair, she said she never wanted to see him again. But it seems that Sam was the man Donna cared about the most, and both of them wish they could go back to the start ("SOS"').
At the beach, Harry asks Tanya what the father of the bride ought to be doing for Sophie's wedding. Tanya explains that for her part, her father gave her his advice and then paid. Pepper, one of the guys who works at Donna's taverna, makes advances to Tanya, but she rebuffs him ("Does Your Mother Know").
Sky finds out what Sophie has done in inviting Sam, Harry and Bill to the wedding. He accuses her of wanting a big white wedding only so that she can find out who her father is. He is very hurt that she kept this plan a secret from him. He storms off just as Sam walks in. Sam tries to give Sophie some fatherly advice by describing his failed marriage ("Knowing Me, Knowing You"), but Sophie is not consoled.
Harry offers to Donna to pay for the wedding, and they reminisce about their fling ("Our Last Summer"). Sophie arrives and Donna helps her get dressed. She cannot believe her daughter is going to be a bride ("Slipping Through My Fingers"). Donna admits that her own mother disowned her when she learned that she was pregnant. They reconcile and Sophie asks her mother if she will walk her down the aisle. Sam arrives and tries to speak to Donna again, but she does not want to see him, and asks him to leave. He refuses, and a bitter confrontation ensues. Donna tells Sam that he broke her heart, presumably when she found out he was engaged ("The Winner Takes It All"). It emerges that the two still love each other dearly, albeit against Donna's better judgment.
Rosie is making final preparations in the taverna when Bill arrives. He's upset because he has received a note that Donna will be walking Sophie down the aisle. Bill reaffirms his commitment to the single life, but Rosie has become attracted to him, and urges him to reconsider ("Take a Chance on Me"). They are about to have sex in the taverna, but the guests arrive, leaving Rosie quite stunned.
The wedding begins, with Donna walking Sophie down the aisle. Before the priest has a chance to begin the ceremonies, Donna acknowledges to everyone that Sophie's father is present. Sophie tells her mother that she knows about her father. Donna realizes that Sophie invited them to the wedding for that very reason. The issue of Sophie's parentage is left unsettled, as none of them have any idea whether they are actually her father. Everyone involved agrees that it does not matter which one of them her biological parent is, as Sophie loves all three and they are all happy to be "one-third of a father" and a part of her life at last. Finally, Harry, who has made frequent references to his "other half" throughout the show, is revealed to be in a committed gay relationship with a man named Laurence (Nigel or George in some productions, Peter in the Russian version, José Francisco in the Mexican version and Adamastor Costa e Silva in the Brazilian Production).
Suddenly, Sophie calls a halt to the proceedings. She is not ready to get married and Sky agrees with Sophie about not getting married. Sam seizes his chance and proposes to Donna in order to prevent the wedding preparations from going to waste. He explains that he loved her, even when he left to get married. It is revealed that he called off the wedding with his fiancée and came back to the island, only to be told that Donna was going out with another man (Bill). He went back, married his fiancée and had children but he got divorced. Surprisingly, Donna accepts, ("I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do"). In the end, Sam and Donna are married, and at the end of the night, Sophie and Sky depart on a round-the-world tour ("I Have A Dream") .
Finale and bonus
After the usual performers' bows to the audience, the cast performs the following songs together: "Dancing Queen", "Mamma Mia", and "Waterloo", featuring Donna, Tanya, Rosie, Sam, Bill, and Harry in ABBA-inspired costumes.
- Act I
- Overture - Orchestra
- "Prologue: I Have A Dream" - Sophie
- "Honey, Honey" - Sophie, Ali, and Lisa
- "Money, Money, Money" - Donna, Tanya, Rosie, Sky, Sophie and Company
- "Thank You for the Music" - Sophie, Sam, Harry, and Bill
- "Mamma Mia" - Donna and Company
- "Chiquitita" - Tanya, Rosie, and Donna
- "Dancing Queen" - Tanya, Rosie, and Donna
- "Lay All Your Love on Me" - Sky, Sophie, and Company
- "Super Trouper" - Donna & the Dynamos
- "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" - Sophie, Ali, Lisa, and Company
- "The Name of the Game" - Sophie and Bill
- "Voulez-Vous" - Company
- Act II
- Entr'acte - Company
- "Under Attack" - Sophie and Company
- "One of Us" - Donna
- "S.O.S" - Donna and Sam
- "Does Your Mother Know" - Tanya, Pepper and Company
- "Knowing Me, Knowing You" - Sam
- "Our Last Summer" - Harry and Donna
- "Slipping Through My Fingers" - Donna and Sophie
- "The Winner Takes It All" - Donna
- "Take a Chance on Me" - Rosie and Bill
- "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" - Sam, Donna and Company
- "I Have A Dream" - Sophie
Notes on the music
During the preview period in London, the musical had the song "Summer Night City" just after the prologue. The "Summer Night City" scene was a wedding rehearsal and during the song, Ali, Lisa, Tanya, and Rosie arrived on the island. Now, part of the song is used as underscoring to connect the end of "The Winner Takes It All" and "Take a Chance on Me". You can also hear a couple of lines of "Summer Night City" in the 'Entr'acte' (the most noticeable line is: 'Time to breathe and time to live').
Donna hums a few lines of "Fernando", when she repairs the doors of the taverna just before she sees her three former lovers. In the Mexican production Donna sings a few lines of the original ABBA's Spanish version of the song.
In the German production, Sky (Bernhard Forcher) sang a few lines of "King Kong Song" before starting "Lay All Your Love on Me". In the international tour version, Sky (David Roberts) sings a few lines of "She's My Kind of Girl", a Björn & Benny song.
The wedding march that is played as Sophie walks down the aisle is a slower arrangement of "Dancing Queen".
The creators also intended to include "Just Like That", an unreleased ABBA song recorded in 1982. The song was apparently dropped just before the first public previews in March 1999, though it was listed in the program available during the preview period.
The last three songs, performed as an encore/finale by the whole cast are: "Mamma Mia", "Dancing Queen" and "Waterloo". The version of "Mamma Mia" used in the encore/finale is sung by the Company. Then, during the intro of "Dancing Queen", Donna, Tanya and Rosie join the Company (as the girl-power band "Donna and the Dynamos", wearing the ABBA's 70's colorful and flashy costumes). Sam, Bill and Harry join them during the second chorus of "Dancing Queen" (sometimes, wearing male versions of the girls' ABBA's costumes.)
In the Brazilian production, all the three songs from the encore/finale were kept in English. Thought "Waterloo" was adapted into Brazilian Portuguese, this version was never used and the lyrics are unknown.
Principal roles and cast
Character Original London Cast (1999)  Original Broadway Cast  Original German cast (2003–2004) Original Dutch cast (2003-2006) Original Madrid Cast (2004) Original Flemish Cast (2006)  Current London Cast Current Broadway Cast Original Mexico City Cast (2009–2010) Current Dutch Tour Cast (2010) Original Oslo cast (2009) Current Pakistan Cast (2009–2010) Original South African Cast (2010–2011) Current Brazilian Cast (2010–2011) Current North America Tour Cast (2010) Current French Cast (2010–2011) Current Italian Cast (2010 - 2012) Donna Siobhán McCarthy Louise Pitre Caroline Fortenbacher Simone Kleinsma Nina Vera Mann Sally Ann Triplet Lisa Brescia Rocío Banquells Lone Van Roosendaal Heidi Gjermundsen Broch Kiran Chaudhry Gina Shmukler Kiara Sasso Kaye Tuckerman Sophie Delmas Chiara Noschese Rosie Jenny Galloway Judy Kaye Jasna Ivir Doris Baaten Paula Sebastián Lulu Aertgeerts Joanna Monro Jennifer Perry Anahí Allué Mylène d’Anjou Kjersti Elvik Sanam Saeed Ilse Klink Andrezza Massei Mary Callanan Karen Gluck Giada Lo Russo Tanya Louise Plowright Karen Mason Kerstin Mäkelburg Ellen Evers Marta Valverde Myriam Bronzwaar Kim Ismay Judy McLane María Fillipini Anouk Van Nes Arlene Wilkes Zoe Viccaji Kate Normington Rachel Ripani Alison Ewing Marion Posta Lisa Angiolillo Sam Carmichael Hilton McRae David W. Keeley Frank Logemann Hajo Bruins Alberto Vázquez Jan Schepens William Tapley John Hemphill Paco Morales Bas Westerweel Paul-Ottar Haga Omair Rana Anrich Herbst Saulo Vasconcelos John Sanders Jerome Pradon Michele Carfora Bill Austin Nicolas Colicos Ken Marks Ulrich Wiggers Filip Bolluyt Bruno Squarcia Marc Coessens Mark Gillis Patrick Boll Damian López Rutger Le Poole Nils Christian Fossdal Osman Mumtaz Murray Todd Carlos Arruza John-Michael Zuerlein Patrick Mazet Roberto Andrioli Harry Bright Paul Clarkson Dean Nolen Cusch Jung Jon van Eerd Nando González Mark Tijsmans Oliver Senton David Beach Beto Torres Ad Knippels Heine Totland Akbar Merchant Neels Clasen Cleto Baccic Paul DeBoy Francis Boulogne Gipeto Sophie Lisa Stokke Tina Maddigan Peggy Pollow Céline Purcell Mariona Castillo Sasha Rosen Dani De Waal Liana Hunt  Gloria Aura Elise Berends Mari Lerberg Fossum Zahshanne Z. Malik Carmen Pretorius Pati Amoroso Chloe Tucker Gaelle Gauthier Elisa Lombardi Sky Andrew Langtree Joe Machota Jörg Neubauer Oren Schrijver Leandro Rivera Davy Gilles Craig Fletcher Jordan Dean Carlos Rivera John Vooijs Espen Grjotheim Shehzad Noor Butt David Stephen Jubber Thiago Machado Happy Mahaney Dan Menasche Giuseppe Verzicco
Mamma Mia! was adapted as a film, produced by Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman, written by Catherine Johnson directed by Phyllida Lloyd and with Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Björn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson as executive producers. Meryl Streep stars as Donna Sheridan and Amanda Seyfried as Sophie and Pierce Brosnan as Sam Carmichael. The movie also features Christine Baranski, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård and Julie Walters. It premiered July 18, 2008 in the US. Most of the songs remained intact with the exceptions of "Under Attack", "One of Us", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", and "Thank You for the Music". "Knowing Me, Knowing You" was used as the wedding music and "Thank You for the Music" is sung during the second half of the end credits. The first half is occupied with a "Dancing Queen" reprise and "Waterloo". "When All Is Said and Done", a song not used in the musical, was added for the film sung by Sam, Donna, and the company. "Our Last Summer" was used earlier in the movie, with Sophie, Bill, Sam, and Harry singing it. "The Name of the Game" while filmed, was subsequently edited out of the film for the final cut. The song is included in full on the motion picture soundtrack - an abbreviated version of the song and scene appear on the DVD/bluray as a supplement.
Awards and nominations
Original London production
Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result 2000 Laurence Olivier Award Best New Musical Nominated Best Actress in a Musical Siobhan McCarthy Nominated Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Jenny Galloway Won Louise Plowright Nominated
Original Broadway production
Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result 2002 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Louise Pitre Nominated Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Judy Kaye Nominated Karen Mason Nominated Tony Award Best Musical Nominated Best Book of a Musical Catherine Johnson Nominated Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Louise Pitre Nominated Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Judy Kaye Nominated Best Orchestrations Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Martin Koch Nominated
- Box office and business
On any given day, there are at least seven performances of Mamma Mia! being performed around the globe. On May 15, 2005, Mamma Mia! surpassed the original Broadway runs of The Sound of Music, The King and I, and Damn Yankees with 1,500 performances. On September 14, 2011, it surpassed Miss Saigon to become the 10th longest-running Broadway musical of all time with 4,098 performances.  When Mamma Mia! opened in Russia, it received a very positive response. As of January 2008 "Mamma Mia!" became the longest daily running show in the history of Russian theatre.
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- ^ "Casting announced for Chinese version of Mamma Mia!". Asia Pacific Arts. 02/25/2011. http://asiapacificarts.usc.edu/article@apa?casting_announced_for_chinese_version_of_mamma_mia_16434.aspx.
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- ^ a b Gans, Andrew. Broadway's Mamma Mia! to Welcome Liana Hunt and Clarke Thorell" playbill.com, September 23, 2010
- ^ MAMMA MIA! Becomes 10th Longest Running Musical in History Today, Sept. 14
- ^ Gans, Andrew (2008-09-04). "Mamma Mia! to Become 16th-Longest Running Show on Broadway". Playbill, Inc.. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/120976.html. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
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- Official website
- Mamma Mia! at the Internet Broadway Database
- Mamma Mia! Discussion Forum at Musicals.Net
- 2008 Moment of Thanks video by the cast of Mamma Mia! Las Vegas thanking the US Armed Forces
- Mamma Mia! at Queensland Performing Arts Centre
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