Musical “Mama Mia” featuring ABBA hits takes Historical Opera House stage this weekend

Posted March 28, 2019 at 3:50 pm

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Nearly 40 area performers will take the stage at the historic Akron Opera House this Friday, Saturday and Sunday to present Mamma Mia!, the musical featuring hit songs from the band ABBA.

Performances will be held March 29, 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m. with one matinee performance on March 31 at 2:00 p.m, at the Akron Opera House, 151 Reed St., in downtown Akron.

Reservations are being taken for adult ($16), senior citizen ($13) and student ($8) tickets by calling 712-568-2614 or emailing

Music Theatre International’s Mamma Mia! features music and lyrics by Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and some songs with Stig Anderson, and book by Catherine Johnson.

The romantic comedy contrasts the dreams and aspirations of 1970s girl and a 1990s girl. Through the storytelling magic of the songs of ABBA, we meet Donna (Amy Linder) and her daughter Sophie (Melissa McKee). Donna is unaware that her daughter has invited three potential fathers to her wedding in effort to discover who her father truly is.

According to Wikipedia, “Mamma Mia! (promoted as Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus’ Mamma Mia!) is a jukebox musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. The title of the musical is taken from the group’s 1975 chart-topper “Mamma Mia.” Ulvaeus and Andersson, who composed the original music for ABBA, were involved in the development of the show from the beginning. Singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad has been involved financially in the production and she has also been present at many of the premieres around the world.”

“The musical includes such hits as “Super Trouper,” “Lay All Your Love on Me,” “Dancing Queen,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Thank You for the Music,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes It All,” “Voulez-Vous,” “SOS” and the title track. Over 60 million people have seen the show, which has grossed $2 billion worldwide since its 1999 debut. A film adaptation starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, Stellan Skarsgård and Julie Walters was released in July 2008.”

“As of 2018, the show has productions in London’s West End, where it is the seventh longest-running show in West End history, as well as various international productions. Its Broadway incarnation closed in September 2015 after a 14-year run, making it the ninth longest-running show in Broadway history.”

Just last year, the musical script was made available to community theaters.

“We are excited to present this popular musical for the first time on the Akron Opera House stage,” said Val Philips, director. “The cast features a range of talented performers, including a number of cast members who are new to the performances at the Opera House.”

Musical Sponsor

Sponsoring this musical is The Akron Hometowner.

About Akron Opera House

Built in 1905, the Opera House held its first performance, “The Homeseekers,” in February 1906 and hosted a variety of chautaquas, theater, lyceum speeches, medicine shows and operas. 

The Opera House was closed to performances during the Great Depression and the building housed a number of businesses over the years.

In 1970, Akron High School drama teacher Richard Jacobs, and his drama group of 60 students, organized volunteer and community energy to reopen the Opera House as a theater. 

Since then, the opera house has been the home to a number of community theatre productions, concerts and performances.

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