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MAMMA MIA! (article first published : 2005-11-20)

Mamma Mia!, the smash hit musical that took South Africa by storm earlier this year, is set to return for a second run in 2006. Opening at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town on June 7, the show then moves to the State Theatre in Pretoria on July 19.

During the first tour, more than 157,000 ecstatic South African fans fell in love with the characters, the story and the music, making Mamma Mia! one of the most successful shows to hit South African stages. (See review in Music archives)

This sunny, funny tale unfolds on a tiny Greek island. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship.

With music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, Mamma Mia! is written by Catherine Johnson and directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Choreography is by Anthony Van Laast with production design by Mark Thompson, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce and Bobby Aitken, and musical supervision, additional material and arrangements by Martin Koch.

"Watching Mamma Mia! is like stepping into an entertainment time capsule and being transported to a place where all that glitters is really gold" is how the Cape Argus described the show which is seen by over 18,000 people around the world every night. It has grossed over $1.4 Billion at the Box Office. The show has also premiered in more cities worldwide, faster than any other musical in history, opening in more than 115 major cities since the first production in London six years ago.

Unlike the 2005 tour where the show performed in vast conference styled auditoriums, the 2006 South African tour has been booked into theatres to create a more intimate setting.

Presented by Big Concerts, SABC 2, Jacaranda 94.2 in association with The Star and Pretoria News, Mamma Mia! performs at The Artscape Theatre, Cape Town from June 7 to July 15 and at the State Theatre, Pretoria from July 19 to September 10. Book at Computicket, 083 915 8000 or www.computicket.com

(Editor’s Note: If you’re an ABBA fan, you’ll love it, anyway! If you’re interested in a very clever creation of a musical from song titles and lyrics, you’ll be fascinated. Apart from that, it’s a highly professional show with an excellent cast. See it if you can!)




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