by Angela Jones, Marshall Artists Series
  Broadway’s Mamma Mia! Comes to the Keith Albee for the First Time Nov. 4

HUNTINGTON, WV- A mother. A daughter. 3 possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget. The global smash hit musical Mamma Mia! is making its way to the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, November 4 at 7:30 pm. Over 50 million people all around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that makes Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good show!

Writer Catherine Johnson’s sunny, funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings 3 men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. This smash hit musical combines ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take A Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All,” with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. 

The Broadway show first opened April 6, 1999 in London, and was given the kind of welcome it has been getting ever since, every night, at every one of the many productions that have since followed. “We really had no idea how it was going to be received,” reflects the producer Judy Craymer whose initial concept, exactly a decade earlier, it had been to use existing ABBA songs within the format of a new, original musical. But happily, she remembers, “The audience went wild. They were literally out of their seats and singing and dancing in the aisles – and they still are. Every night.” 

And now Mamma Mia! is showing all around the world. It has become a global entertainment phenomenon, which has now been seen by over 54 million people worldwide, in over 440 major cities. It has set the record for premiering in more cities worldwide than any other musical in history, from Toronto to Broadway, and from Australia to its first foreign language production in Germany (where it would eventually become the first major musical to play concurrently in three Germany cities) to going home to ABBA’s original Stockholm home in a Swedish-language production in 2005.

The secret of the show’s success, however, is that it’s not just its creators who see themselves onstage, but the audiences do, too. Phyllida Lloyd notes, “In Catherine Johnson’s ingenious story, the audience seemed to be having a very particular experience. They were seeing themselves on stage.” In the process, the songs are re-born and the show’s themes – of lost parents, a search for identity, and the generation gap – have a universal resonance. As Johnson says, “There’s a mother-daughter relationship; an old romance; there’s losing someone and finding them again. There are all kinds of things that everyone can relate to.” This is a show about real people in real situations, yet a wonderful pop score that provided the soundtrack for a generation in the ’70s and early ’80s anchors it now as the soundtrack for a show whose appeal crosses all age and national boundaries.

The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter, and friendship, and every night everyone’s having the time of their lives!

‘A GREAT MUSICAL HIT! A genuinely original, comic and touching story allied to some of the greatest and most theatrical pop songs ever written.’ Sheridan Morley, INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE

‘MAMMA MIA! is a feel-good, bring-the-whole-family, mega-musical entertainment!  GR-ABBA TICKET IF YOU CAN!’ Matt Byrne, SUNDAY MAIL, ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

Tickets for Mamma Mia! are $93.95/77.90/67.20/60.78. To see this smash hit on the stage of the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center contact the Marshall Artists Series Box Office a 304-696-6656. Or order tickets online at You may also visit our box office located in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on the Marshall University campus. Box office hours are Monday through Friday 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

Mamma Mia! is sponsored by Touma Foundation, Neighborgall Construction, Air Systems Inc., Boggs Roofing, Rick & Susan Stoler, Dr. Jeff & Mrs. Brooke Leaberry, African-American Students Programs at MU, Dr. & Mrs. .Stanley Tao, KEE 100, B97, WSAZ, The Herald Dispatch, MU, and the Marshall Artists Series.