'Mamma Mia!' to Close on Broadway; ABBA-Based Musical Played 14 Years, Brought in $2 Billion
Mamma Mia!, one of the longest-running musicals in Broadway history—based on the music of Swedish pop superstars ABBA—will close down during September, ending at just less than 14 years of performances. For reference, some titles that it recently passed for longest runs: Rent, Fiddler on The Roof, Grease and Miss Saigon.
Global producer Judy Craymer made the announcement on Friday. The September 5 show at Broadhurst Theatre on September will be the final performance.
The show began its run on Broadway on October 18 of 2001 at the Winter Garden Theatre, following a two-year premiere run in London. Those 14 years were more than just sentimental, gathering 5,765 performances played and a reported $2 billion worth of revenues brought in.
The first dozen years of the performance took place at the Winter Garden Theatre. Part of the production's success was attributed to the nearness of its debut to 9/11. Tourism to New York City suffered in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, including Broadway attendance. The saccharine tone of the musical and the familiar music held within may have struck a chord with a population looking to escape the suddenly harsh reality of the world around them.
Unfortunately, ticket sales began to slip during 2012, prompting the production to with to the Broadhurst Theatre. Continuing drops have finally gotten producers to pull the plug, alas.
Among the income brought in by Mamma Mia! for the show's creators and songwriters (ABBA's Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus) of course was the 2008 film version of the musical—starring Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried and Colin Firth among others—which brought in more than $600 million during the year of its release, which also made it the most successful Hollywood adaptation of a musical to date (at least in terms of overall sales numbers).