‘Mamma Mia’ says goodbye to Philadelphia

If you’re looking to beat the winter blues, a trip to the Merriam Theater to see “Mamma Mia tour will do the trick. The fun, feel-good musical is set to the beat of Swedish pop band, ABBA, and tells the story of a wedding, long lost lovers and friendship.

After a 14-year run, this will be the farewell tour of “Mamma Mia” — but what does that mean exactly?

Musical director Kevin Casey says, “The show closed on Broadway last year and once the tour is over, the rights will be released to everyone — every regional theater, college, community theater and high school.”

Will the production be challenging for smaller theaters to perform? Casey notes that the show is very “doable” given that there aren’t special effects and the popularity of the music makes it an easy sell.

On the subject of the music, Casey admits he wasn’t a fan of ABBA back in the day:“My mom liked them so that was the kiss of death for me. I was into punk at the time.”

When it came time to do “Mamma Mia,” however, he reexamined the band’s music.

“I was really impressed with what they’ve accomplished, being four musicians from Sweden, writing in a foreign language,” he says.

“’Waterloo’ is my favorite song. Without it, there’s nothing. It’s the song that won them the Eurovision contest, and had that not happened, we may never have discovered ABBA. There’d be no ‘Mamma Mia.’”

A world without “Mamma Mia” would be a little less colorful, indeed.

If you go:

Mamma Mia
Dec. 27 to 31
Merriam Theater
250 S. Broad St.
kimmelcenter.org

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