Mamma Mia! Here we go again...Date: 21 October 1998
A new musical based on the songs of ABBA, Mamma Mia!, will open at London's Prince Edward Theatre on April 6, 1999, following previews from March 23. The show, featuring the music and lyrics of Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, is structured around a new original book by Catherine Johnson, telling the story of a mother and daughte ron the eve of the daughter's wedding.
The Prince Edward Theatre was home to a long-running previous musical by Andersson and Ulvaeus, Chess, in the mid-eighties, where it was directed by Trevor Nunn. A subsequent Broadway production, however, at the Imperial Theatre (with Judy Kuhn and the late David Carroll), fared far less well, closing after a few months.
The new show is directed by Phyllida Lloyd, currently represented in London by her production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the Royal National Theatre. Lloyd, who has also worked for the RSC and the Royal Court, was to have directed a new production of Terry Johnson's Hysteria on Broadway this fall, but the production was aborted due to casting difficulties. She has also had extensive operatic directing experience, but Mamma Mia! marks her first foray into the world of the commercial musical.
The designer is Mark Thompson, whose lavish designs for such musicals as Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat have been seen on Broadway; he is currently represented in London by the design of Dr Dolittle. The choreographer is Anthony van Laast, currently represented in London by Whistle Down the Wind.