'Mamma Mia!' to Wrap 14-Year Broadway Run in September

Joan Marcus 2012
'Mamma Mia!'

The Abba musical is the eighth longest-running show in Broadway history, grossing $605 million to date, with a worldwide haul north of $2 billion.

One of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, Mamma Mia!, will wrap its New York production at the Broadhurst Theatre on Sept. 5 this year, global producer Judy Craymer announced on Thursday.

The Abba musical is one of five current shows running on a Broadway stage for more than 10 years; the production will have played 5,765 performances when the final curtain comes down.

Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, the musical opened on Oct. 18, 2001, at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre, following the success of the 1999 London premiere. It quickly became a phenomenon in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when Broadway theaters were struggling to draw back audiences. The show's pure escapist entertainment and its string of familiar, upbeat tunes proved a feel-good tonic during depressed times, and its appeal endured, helping the production outlast the staying power of other Broadway smashes such as Rent, Miss Saigon, 42nd Street, Grease and Fiddler on the Roof.

In the 16 years since it was first produced in London, Mamma Mia! is reported to have grossed more than $2 billion worldwide, with $605 million on Broadway alone, where it has been seen by 7.3 million people.

After business had begun to slip, the production moved in November 2013, from the 1,526-seat Winter Garden into the smaller Broadhurst Theatre, with 1,156 seats. While grosses still top $1 million a week during high-demand holiday periods, in recent months, weekly box-office has hovered around $600,000 or less, prompting producers to announce their exit.

The musical was adapted into a Universal Pictures feature film in 2008, which starred Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried, and was also directed by Lloyd. It became the most successful live-action movie musical to date, grossing $609 million worldwide.

Popular Abba hits performed in the show include "Dancing Queen," "The Winner Takes It All," "Money, Money, Money" and "Take a Chance on Me." Mamma Mia! was written by Catherine Johnson, with music and lyrics by Abba band members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.

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