Erik Kabik / Retna / ErikKabik.com
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 6:20 p.m.
The return of “Mamma Mia!” at the Tropicana lasted about six years less than the show’s original run at Mandalay Bay.
The show is closing, effective Aug. 3. The production opened May 16 at a renovated and expanded Tropicana Theater, which was boosted to about 1,100 seats to accommodate the full-scale musical. But word of sluggish ticket sales surfaced from those familiar with the show’s crowd counts; one reliable report was that the production was selling about 300 tickets, total, on two-show nights.
The musical spent a little more than six years at Mandalay Bay before moving out in 2008 as “Disney’s The Lion King” moved into that venue. The show does better business around the world than it has on the corner of Trop and the Strip. Thirteen versions of the show are either in residency or currently on tour, including shows on Broadway (where it is among only five shows to run 10 years or longer) and on London’s West End (where it has been performed 6,000 times). The U.S. tour of “Mamma Mia!” stopped at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center from Jan. 7-12.
Announcing the show’s closing was Las Vegas PR agency Kirvin Doak Communications. Said company founder David Kirvin: “Despite the very best efforts of both the ‘Mamma Mia!’ team and our partners at the Tropicana, we have made the difficult decision to close the show. We are extremely proud of the Las Vegas production and grateful to our extraordinarily talented cast and crew for their dedication in bringing the show to life every night.”
Left unanswered is how the Trop plans to use that lavish, world-class theater in the absence of a true Broadway-style production show. But for a few one-off events and such limited performances as a weekend of shows by the band Chicago in the spring of 2013, the Tropicana Theater has sat largely latent. “Mamma Mia!” is the second full-scale production to close on the Strip this month, following the idling of “Vegas Nocturne” at Rose. Rabbit. Life. in the Cosmopolitan on July 12.
Refunds will be given for ticketholders who reserved seats after the Aug. 3 closing performance. Call the Tropicana box office at (702) 739-2411 for information.