I sat down with Wharton Center Public Relations Manager Bob Hoffman to the discuss Mamma Mia Farwell Tour.
CK: Mamma Mia is one of only five resent musicals to have run for more than ten years on Broadway. What gives this show such longevity?
- It’s such a great story full of AMAZING ABBA music.
- 60 million people worldwide have experienced this show which has been produced in 16 difference languages.
- It’s the 8th longest running show in Broadway history (2001-2015)
- The first US Tour opened in 2000 and closed in 2004. It played 1522 performances and grossed over $171 million in 9 cities with 10 repeat visits.
- The North American Tour (originally known as the US National Tour 2) opened in 2002 and closed in 2012. It played over 4,000 performances generating an accumulated Box Office gross of more than $433 million. The Tour had 469 bookings in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, playing 221 different cities.
CK: Where is the farewell tour headed?
BH: After the Wharton Center run October 14-16 it will visit places such as: Tucson, AZ; Springfield, MO; Atlanta, Georgia and Calgary, Canada. Right now it’s booked all the way through July, 2017.
CK: Tell me your take on the storyline? What makes the mothers relationships with her daughter, friends and new-found family so special?
BH: It mixes a bit of fun, seriousness with love! On a small Greek island, Sophie dreams of a perfect wedding — one which includes her father giving her away. The problem? Sophie doesn’t know who he is! Her mother Donna, the former lead singer of the 1970s pop group Donna and the Dynamos, refuses to talk about the past, so Sophie decides to take matters into her own hands. Sneaking a peek in her mother’s old diaries, she discovers three possible fathers: Sam, Bill, and Harry. She secretly invites all three to the wedding, convinced that she’ll know her father when she sees him. But when all three turn up, it may not be as clear as she thought! Told through the legendary music of ABBA, Mamma Mia! has become a worldwide sensation that has audiences everywhere dancing.
CK: Who are the talents in this show?
BH: Lizzie Markson plays Sophie and is making her National Tour debut. Andrew Tebo (Harry) returns for his second time to tour with MAMMA MIA. Betsy Padamonsky plays Donna.
CK: Have you previously seen this show? Where and how many times?
BH: Last at Wharton Center in November 2013, then in Sept.- October 2008, Oct.- November 2006, and December 2003. This will the 5th time at Wharton.
CK: Tell me about the costumes and set design?
BH: 400m of Lycra is used to make the Super Trouper costumes. The London company supplies this fabric to all of the International productions of MAMMA MIA! The MAMMA MIA! orders alone saved the Italian mill that supplies the special fabric from closing.
- There are 45 Super Troupers (principal ladies and men including understudies) in the show.
- There are 72 principal costumes in the show – each of the principals has 3 understudies, making a total of 288 principal and understudy costumes.
- There are 390 ensemble and swing costumes.
- There are approximately 3,120 items of clothing for MAMMA MIA! in the theatre at any given time.
CK: What is your favorite ABBA song?
BH: The Winner Takes It All, Take a Chance on Me and Mamma Mia.
Mamma Mia will be at Wharton Center for Performing Arts October 14-16th.
For tickets or more information visit: Wharton Center Website