Many have called Mamma Mia! a guilty pleasure. The romantic comedy touches heart with its simple story and soars because of the brilliant performances by its diverse cast.
A fantastic fun musical, Mamma Mia! started its successful journey from London’s Prince Edward Theatre and later went on to conquer the world stages. It was not unheard of but definitely unusual for three women to be the driving, creative force behind the Laurence Olivier Award winning show. Catherine Johnson’s book, Phyllida Lloyd’s direction and Judy Craymer’s creative production made Mamma Mia! a magnificent record-breaking musical.
Judy Craymer had always been a fan of 70s’ Swedish pop-dance group, ABBA. She believed that their music had certain theatrical qualities that would transfer well on to the stage. Craymer approached Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, members of ABBA and convinced them into giving her idea a chance. It wasn’t as simple as she thought and it took her almost a decade to get the things rolling for Mamma Mia! And when they finally did, Mamma Mia tickets sold out in advance for the 1999 premiere.
The Prince Edward Theatre was abuzz with excitement and anticipation. Those who attended weren’t disappointed as they were treated to a show full of enthusiasm and energy. Mamma Mia! made its Broadway debut in 2001 and earned multiple Tony Award nominations.
Mamma Mia! Musical Information
|Director||Producer||Composer/Lyricist||Writer||Choreographer||Set Designer||Phyllida Lloyd||Judy Craymer||Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus||Catherine Johnson||Anthony Van Laast||Mark Thompson|
Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus were busy with their hit musical Chess when Judy Craymer went to them with the idea of turning their songs into a theatrical. While they were apprehensive, they encouraged her to find a writer for her proposal. Playwright Catherine Johnson was recruited and Craymer’s brief to her was that she wanted a contemporary script that catered to two generations – mature audiences that enjoy emotional plot and slightly younger lot that crave for playful love story.
Johnson delivered with a cross-generational story that had everything from romance to comedy to satire. With three ladies behind the wheel (Phyllida, Catherine and Judy), Mamma Mia! got the show on the road. Fittingly, Mamma Mia’s story also features three strong women.
Set in a beautiful Greek Island, Sophie is all set to get married. Her dream wedding includes her father walking her down the aisle. Simple, right? Not in the world of Sophie at least. Her mother Donna always hid the reality of her biological father from her and even an emotional event like wedding couldn’t coerce her into revealing who he was.
Sophie takes things in her own hands and after going through her mother’s old diaries, invites three men to the wedding. Out of these three one could be her father. Emotions run high as the big day arrives and before the evening comes to an end, both Sophie and the audience get to enjoy multiple surprises. Told through the iconic music of ABBA, Mamma Mia! has become an international sensation that has the audiences dancing everywhere.
Mamma Mia! – Original Cast
15 years since Mamma Mia! first hit the Broadway stage, it remains as good as it was on its premiere show. The character of Donna Sheridan has been played by a host of multi-talented actresses but it was Louise Pitre who first stepped into the role. Her performance earned her Dora Mavor Moore Award, the US National Broadway Award and the San Francisco Critics Circle Award. She was also nominated for a Tony Award in the “Best Actress in a Musical” category.
Taking the stage with enough vigor to get the audience involved in her singing, Tina Maddigan stood out as Sophie,. Her performance earned her rave reviews from the critics along with National Star Award, Audience Award and Robby Awards nominations. Maddigan left the show after 3000 performances, living her dream of becoming a popular Broadway actress.
Joe Machota is the original Sky, Sophie’s fiancé. His chemistry with Maddigan was one of the reasons why the audiences loved the musical. Even today they share great rapport and fondly remember their Mamma Mia! days.
Mamma Mia! – Original Score
Now a ubiquitous musical, the much-loved Mamma Mia! has re-ignited the music of ABBA with its jukebox style. The musical excels in placing the songs directly into the plot and the director, Phyllida Lloyd, successfully guides the classics of ABBA with flourish.
Sophie’s relationship with her mother is established through the poignant number “Slipping Through My Fingers”. In the song “I Have a Dream”, Sophie shows her desire for her father to walk her down the aisle and it’s one of the emotional moments in the musical. Her performance on “Honey, Honey” has the audience moving in their seats.
The power ballad “The Winner Takes It All” fires up the romance in the musical and title track “Mamma Mia” scores the biggest cheers from the audience. Composers and members of ABBA, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus won Touring Broadway Award for the “Best Musical Score”.
Mamma MIA Discount Tickets
ABBA-inspired jukebox musical continues to receive rapturous reception wherever it goes. Fans’ search for Mamma MIA discount tickets is also on as they want to watch the incredible music before it makes its final curtain call. Mamma Mia’s production team is updating the schedule and according to the recent news, international tour will start in 2018. Currently Phoenix, Virginia Beach and Ivins, Utah, are enjoying the musical’s limited run.
A critic from New York Post reviewed the musical in words, “Mamma Mia! flies as tuneful as a lark and as smart as a cuckoo. It offers one of those nights when you sit back and let a nutty kind of joy just sweep over you.”
Catherine Johnson shines in her role as she convincingly uses the songs and turns them into a story. Phyllida Lloyd’s staging neatly ties up every sentiment in the plot, as she’s able to create a breathtaking aura.
“The sunniest of all musicals, Mamma Mia! provides new pleasures every time”. – Sunday Express