Rant Of The Day
Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

THIS RANT 07/05/2001

Finally, the ABBA musical comes down under

As is recorded elsewhere on this site, I'm obsessed enough with the ABBA musical Mamma Mia! to have flown myself to London a couple of years ago for the international premiere, and to have returned to see the show again a year later when I was next in that part of the world. Now another year has passed, but I've been saved the expense of going to London (at least for that), as Mamma Mia! finally gets its Australian premiere in Melbourne on June 9.

I'm a little surprised it has taken so long to get here, given that ABBA were unarguably bigger in Australia than anywhere else in the world. Better late than never, however. I'm not actually hitting Melbourne for the premiere itself (as it's a long weekend and tickets were more or less impossible to get) but I will be there the following week, to see how many changes they've made (I'm expecting none), purchase any items of merchandise I don't have (which may not be many, as I've got practically everything from the London show) and just rock on. It would be nice if Bjorn made an appearance, but I'm not getting my hopes up at this stage.

Of course, musical theatre is always a bit iffy in Australia, which is why Mamma Mia! has some unusual sponsors. In an ideal world, an ABBA musical wouldn't need to be promoted via leaflets handed out in Victorian branches of McDonald's, but as you can see from the accompanying illustrations, that's what's happened. (The picture is from the London production, and shows Louise Plowright, who took over the lead role of Donna in the show's second year.)

This is undeniably tacky, but perhaps it has helped. The show has already extended its Melbourne season by two weeks, which suggests that it's a success. Of course, that will delay its eventual appearance in Sydney, but after two years, I figure I can be patient.

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