Tag Archives: ABBA

‘Winner Takes All’ Fun Facts

Mamma Mia! has been seen by over 60 million people worldwide. It has opened in more major cities faster than any other musical in theater history. So far, it has had productions in over 325 cities including Melbourne, Barcelona, Stockholm, Tokyo, Seoul and Moscow

mamma-mia-770x400-2.jpg

Mamma Mia! isn’t the first attempt at employing the ABBA catalogue for a stage musical. Abbacadabra was originally a French TV special that employed ABBA songs with altered French lyrics to tell classic fairy tales. In 1983, it was adapted to the London stage and ran for eight weeks. It’s probably most notable for being the first show that British stage star Elaine Paige did after Cats.

According to Variety, the play’s original producer Judy Craymer and writer Catherine Johnson “were broke when they first tried to put the show together and were even snubbed by the Swedish pop group whose music formed the basis for the show. They are now two of the wealthiest women in England.” Craymer met ABBA’s songwriters Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson when the two were working on the musical Chess with lyricist Tim Rice in 1983. Craymer was inspired by “The Winner Takes It All” to use the ABBA songs in a musical-theater format. The Swedish team were not initially enthusiastic about the idea, but they did not rule out the idea. In 1997, Craymer commissioned Johnson to write the book for the musical.

The 2008 film version of Mamma Mia! starring Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Christine Baranski, Colin Firth, Julie Walters and Stellan Skarsgard is the highest-grossing live-action movie musical of all time in terms of worldwide gross, taking in over $600 million.

During one particularly loving year (2005), eight female cast members of the Broadway company got engaged and three cast members got married.

The London company of Mamma Mia! supplies Lycra for the Super Trouper costumes for all the international productions. Their orders for the fabric saved an Italian mill from going out of business.

Mamma Mia! was the first Mandarin-language production of a Western musical in China when it opened at the Shanghai Grand Theatre in July 11, 2011. The production then toured to Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chongqing, Xian and back to Shanghai.

Straight From the Horse’s Mouth

I’ve been cheated by you since I don’t know when
So I made up my mind, it must come to an end

Look at me now, will I ever learn?
I don’t know how but I suddenly lose control
There’s a fire within my soul

20151228135939

Just one look and I can hear a bell ring
One more look and I forget everything, ohohoho

Mamma mia, here I go again
My, my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My, my, just how much I’ve missed you

Yes, I’ve been broken-hearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?

Mamma mia, now I really know
My, my, I could never let you go

I’ve been angry and sad about the things that you do
I can’t count all the times that I’ve told you we’re through

And when you go, when you slam the door
I think you know that you won’t be away too long
You know that I’m not that strong

Just one look and I can hear a bell ring
One more look and I forget everything, ohohoho

Mamma mia, here I go again
My, my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My, my, just how much I’ve missed you

Yes, I’ve been broken-hearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?

Mamma mia, even if I say
Bye, bye, leave me now or never
Mamma mia, it’s a game we play
Bye, bye doesn’t mean forever

Mamma mia, here I go again
My, my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My, my, just how much I’ve missed you

Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?

Mamma mia, now I really know
My, my, I could never let you go

Katie Kerr Stars as Sophie

Over 60 million people around the world have fallen in love with the characters, story, and undeniably catchy music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good musical. Now Artistic Director Adam Brazier is turning to a Festival favourite of recent seasons – Katie Kerr – to play the lead role.

image004
Kerr, a veteran of five seasons at Confederation Centre, including two starring as Anne Shirley, will play bride-to-be Sophie in this summer’s must-see musical, directed by Brazier with musical direction from Bob Foster and choreography from Kerry Gage.

“It is always an honour to return to The Charlottetown Festival in any capacity, but I am especially thrilled to be one of the first girls in Canada to take on the role of Sophie this season,” says Kerr, from her new home in Charlottetown. “The Festival has been so integral to my career, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to star in yet another iconic show here.”

Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs, from ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘S.O.S.’ to ‘Take a Chance on Me,’ Mamma Mia! is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends, and newfound family. The sunny tale that unfolds on a Greek island paradise where, on the eve of her wedding, Sophie’s quest to find her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love blooms and old romances are rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities.

For Katie Kerr, it’s exciting that the Festival is one of only two theatres in Canada credited to present the blockbuster since it closed on Broadway in 2015, and she looks forward to seeing where Brazier’s vision will take Mamma Mia!. “It’s so comforting to have an actor as intuitive as Adam on the other side of the table,” she offers. “You know that he is seeing everything, not only from a directorial position, but from the actor’s view as well. His ideas are fresh and forward thinking, which makes for a very exciting time at the Festival. I am so thankful to be a part of a company under his leadership.”

Kerr’s previous credits include Ring of Fire, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Evangeline, and various roles in Anne of Green Gables-The Musical™, notably as the title heroine during the musical’s record-setting 50th season in 2014. “After embodying that role for two years, it becomes second nature,” she explains. “That experience continues to inspire me, in both my theatre work and my personal life. I am constantly finding fragments of Anne in everything I do.”

Confederation Centre wishes to recognize CIBC as the returning title sponsor of The Charlottetown Festival. The Centre also acknowledges the Department of Canadian Heritage; the Government of P.E.I., through the Department of Education, Early Learning, and Culture, and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, Ocean 100, and CTV.

Mamma Mia! is presented from June 1 to September 3, 2016 in the Homburg Theatre at the Centre.