Curtain to fall on Vegas 'Mamma Mia'

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LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas production of "Mamma Mia!," which led a wave of Broadway hits to migrate to the city's glitzy strip of hotel-casinos, will close in 2008, producers said Thursday.

The musical, featuring hits from 1970s supergroup ABBA, opened in February 2003 at the Mandalay Bay. It will close in late summer 2008 after 2,300 performances, making it the longest-running full-length Broadway musical on the Strip, according to its producers.

Mandalay Bay marketing director Scott Voeller said Thursday's announcement, a year and a half in advance of the closing, was an attempt to urge fans to snatch up remaining tickets.

He said the decision was not a reaction to slow ticket sales, but part of the routine "evolution" of Las Vegas entertainment.

"We always knew that the show would not run indefinitely," Voeller told The Associated Press. "In Vegas in particular, you're always looking out for what's going to be the next great thing that's going to keep us at the pinnacle."

Voeller said a replacement show had not been selected.

With its international following, "Mamma Mia!" has been an example of a Broadway hit finding success with Las Vegas' sometimes fickle audiences. Other shows haven't been so lucky. Tony award-winner "Avenue Q" closed last year after a nine-month engagement at the Wynn Las Vegas. "Hairspray" closed after only four months at the Luxor.

Still, Broadway shows continue to move west to the desert. "Monty Python's Spamalot" is headed to the Wynn later this year. A production of "The Producers," starring David Hasselhoff, is scheduled to open Jan. 31 at the Paris Las Vegas hotel.
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