Mamma Mia! has become one of the world's most popular and timeless musicals, as conveyed through one of the world's famous pop groups, ABBA. This classic jukebox musical is celebrating its twelfth year, and touring productions have a full tour schedule in 2011. Mamma Mia!'s tale of modern women is masterfully told through toe-tapping songs, a multi-faceted cast, and simple scenery that still visually tantalizes audiences. Both the riveting storyline and infamous songs have become iconic, inspiring productions of Mamma Mia! all around the world, including a hit 2008 movie musical. Currently, there are musical productions on the West End, Broadway, in Brazil, and Copenhagen, with touring productions in North America and Europe that have busy tour schedules in 2011. With Mamma Mia! playing in so many cities in 2011, there's never been a better time to see this world renowned musical.
Mamma Mia! was first developed by Judy Craymer in 1983, who believed that ABBA songs like "The Winner Takes It All" would translate well into a musical. She approached ABBA members Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson -- who were no strangers to musical scores at this point -- about composing a musical. It wasn't until 1998 that a story and full score for Mamma Mia! were completed, and the musical premiered in the West End in 1999; the West End production is still continuing its twelve year run. Mamma Mia! premiered on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre in 2001 and also continues its run to this day.
Mamma Mia! follows the story of a young woman named Sophie who is living on the Greek isle of Calicos and preparing for her wedding day. She wants her father to walk her down the aisle, but there's one problem: Neither Sophie, nor her mother Donna, know who her real father is. After some investigation, Sophie deduces her father to be one of three men, all of whom she invites to the wedding. As guests and the three potential fathers arrive, misunderstandings, confusion, and hilarity ensue. As Sophie and Donna try to discover who the real father is, everyone on the island begins to discover that the past isn't as important as what people mean to you in the present, and all discover things that have been missing from their lives. The musical features a huge cast of talented dancers and vocalists and a story line relatable to those who have ever experienced love lost.
Currently, there are productions of Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre in the West End, the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway, Teatro Abril in Brazil, and at Musikhuset Aarhus in Copenhagen. As of June 10, 2011, the musical is premiering in Chinese at the Shanghai Grand Theatre in Shanghai, making it the first blockbuster musical to run in Chinese in China. There are also 2011 tour schedules for North American and European tours, all currently ongoing. While Mamma Mia! doesn't appear to be leaving theaters anytime soon, audiences shouldn't miss this opportunity to catch the hit musical on its tour schedule in 2011.