Beginning a long final bow on Broadway, producer Judy Craymer announced Thursday night that Mamma Mia! will close on September 5 at the Shubert-owned Broadhurst Theatre. The Abba jukebox musical, hung loosely on the frame of the 1968 Gina Lollobrigida vehicle Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell, began performances at the Winter Garden Theatre on October 5, 2001, and moved to the Broadhurst in November 2013. It will have played 5,765 performances and recently became number 8 on the list of longest-running shows. Of course, it also was adapted into the 2008 film with Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, generating a worldwide gross of $600 million-plus.
That figure pales against the success of the live show. Its worldwide gross from 49 productions on every continent but Antarctica exceeds $2 billion. The Broadway run alone has grossed over $600 million, according to the trade group Broadway League. The show is produced by Craymer with Richard East and Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal.
“Mamma Mia! has celebrated a passionate 14-year love affair with New York City,” Craymer said in announcing the the decision to close. “I am thrilled that Mamma Mia! has brought the music of ABBA to Broadway and so grateful to the hundreds of wonderful actors, musicians, stage managers, crew, front of house staff and the other people of the theatre who have given their professional lives and souls to be part of the family and adventure on Broadway. And a huge thank you to our fans who have come from all over the world to see the show. It’s an honour to be recognised as one of the most popular shows in Broadway history and we’re looking forward to celebrating our last summer at the Broadhurst Theatre.”
Set in the Greek isles, Mamma Mia! tells the story of a hotel owner and former rock and roll singer raising her daughter with secret help from the three former lovers, each of whom thinks he is the father. When the young woman becomes engaged, the three men show up for the nuptials, only to discover the long-held secret. The show has a book by Catherine Johnson; score by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus with Stig Anderson and additional material by Martin Koch. It’s staged by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast, designed by Mark Thompson and lit by Howard Harrison.