Kirvin Doak Communications
“Mamma Mia” is part of the Broadway Season 2 lineup at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Las Vegas.
Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 | 12:57 p.m.
ABBA members Agnetha Faltskog and Frida Reuss flank Meryl Streep at the premiere of Mamma Mia!.
"Mamma Mia" is part of the Broadway Season 2 lineup at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Las Vegas.
Swedish pop group ABBA’s jukebox musical “Mamma Mia!” is still going and going and going like the Energizer Bunny. It’s still a monster hit around the world since its 1999 debut in London. It has played in more than 40 countries on five continents, including China, Brazil, South Africa and Korea and has been translated into 14 languages.
It ran here at Mandalay Bay for five years through January 2009 as one of the longest-running Broadway musicals in Las Vegas. The still-alive Broadway production celebrated its 5,000th performance two months ago. The 2008 hit movie musical starred Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried.
Now the impossible story of a mother, a daughter and three possible fathers and a trip down the wedding aisle on a Greek island paradise returns to Las Vegas. Not once but in two separate spandex-and-sparkle musicals.
Thus an intriguing tale behind the rival productions that pass each other by just a few weeks. Tonight, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts presents eight performances over five days of the national touring company’s musical comedy. Then in April, a “Mamma Mia!” residency begins at the Tropicana.
Producer Judy Craymer, who co-created “Mamma Mia!” with author Catherine Johnson from the music and lyrics of Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABB, will fly here at the end of this month to prepare the Tropicana residency after the national touring company leaves town.
That show with its open-ended run will load in mid-April for a mid-May premiere. No word yet on casting or whether any of the artists from this week’s Smith Center run will be back.
For the moment, the focus is on the Smith Center show, which stars former Meat Loaf backup singer Georgia Kate Haege, an Australian pop star, in the lead role. On the official “Mamma Mia!” website, actor Mark Harmon (“St. Elsewhere,” “Chicago Hope,” “NCIS”) is listed as one of the three possible fathers in the U.S. and Canada touring show that began in October and runs through June 15, ending in Dallas.
They’ll be disco dancing in the aisles tonight at the normally sedate Reynolds Hall. After the Sunday double-header, the cast who arrived Monday from Phoenix moves onto Thousand Oaks, Calif., for another week run.
Thus, “Dancing Queen” once again rules supreme, so we “Thank You for the Music,” and although I don’t expect to see the now-never-to-be-reunited ABBA tonight, I’m really hoping that Benny, Bjorn and maybe Agnetha Faltskog and Frida Reuss might be there to make more “Money, Money, Money” at the May premiere at Tropicana.
“The Winner Takes It All” — in this case twice in the same year in the same city, and nobody else can claim that jackpot.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Tropicana Las Vegas
Tropicana Las Vegas sits on the south-east corner of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, an intersection which has the most adjacent hotel rooms in the world, also making it one of the most busy. The hotel has 1,658 rooms, three restaurants, a 62,011-square foot casino and a spa.
3801 S. Las Vegas Blvd Las Vegas,
NV 89109 702-739-2222
Smith Center for the Performing Arts The Smith Center for the Performing Arts offers a blend of performances by resident companies and touring attractions. The 5-acre cultural campus features three performance spaces, which includes a main performance area with more than 2,000 seats. This downtown cultural center of Las Vegas looks to educate, entertain and excite community members.
To provide and preserve a high-quality performing arts center that is embraced by the community and recognized as a vital force by supporting artistic excellence, education and inspiration for all.
To entertain, educate, enrich and inspire the southern Nevada community.
Thanks to the generous support of our dedicated founders, members, donors and community partners, The Smith Center continues to provide a wide variety of services for Southern Nevada residents, including access to world-class performances, inspirational Education and Outreach programs for students and teachers, and a unique space to host events, meetings and special occasions. Celebrating our fifth season, we depend upon public support to fulfill our mission and serve as the Heart of the Arts® for many years to come.
With ticket sales covering just 75 percent of our operating budget for each season, the remaining 25 percent comes from the community we serve. Philanthropic support at all levels helps provide programming that entertains, educates, enriches and inspires. By giving to The Smith Center, you play a vital role in providing an important resource for our community.
There are many opportunities to volunteer and play a direct role with your community’s performing arts complex. Volunteers engage with staff and patrons to enhance experiences at The Smith Center, and can serve in various capacities including tour guide/docent, usher, security team member or community ambassador. As important members of The Smith Center team, volunteers help us remain financially sustainable and provide numerous services for the community. Please show your support for The Smith Center’s mission by gifting your time and unique skills.
Members’ annual support provides crucial resources for The Smith Center’s artistic programming, education opportunities and cultural enrichment each year. There are a variety of giving options and levels, and Members receive exclusive benefits and behind-the-scenes opportunities based on their level of support. To learn more, please visit www.thesmithcenter.com/support-us/members.
The Encore Society recognizes those generous donors who have included The Smith Center as a part of their estate plan. Corporate Sponsorship is available to companies to underwrite all, or part, of a program, performance or event.
Fanfare! is The Smith Center’s young progressional networking organization, open to anyone with an interest in the performing arts who is between the ages of 21-40. And our Show Dedication allows for the celebration of an individual or special occasion with unique recognition opportunities during a specific performance.
The Smith Center provides world-class performing arts and outreach and education throughout the Southern Nevada region.
The organization originally formed in 1996 as the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Myron G. Martin President and CEO Donald D. Snyder Chairman Dr. Keith Boman Vice Chairman Mark Tratos Secretary Michael Yackira Treasurer David Dunn Alan M. Feldman Richard Haddrill Fred Hipwell Nancy Houssels Todd-Avery Lenahan Scott MacTaggart Jerry Nadal John Nelson Richard Plaster Rory Reid Kim Sinatra Roger P. Thomas
361 Symphony Park Ave Las Vegas, NV Las Vegas,
NV 89106 702-749-2000