‘Mama Mia’ A Fabulous Fifth Anniversary

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After 2,500 performances, “Mama Mia,” the musical based on the songs of Abba, celebrates its fifth year running at the Mandalay Bay Theater on the Las Vegas Blvd. Strip.

The uplifting musical, originally scheduled to close its engagement in August, will now run through Jan 4, 2009. Never before in the history of Las Vegas has a musical been so successful-playing to 2 million guests.

I spoke to two of the cast members-Robin Baxter (Rosie) and Ron McClary (Bill).

“It’s been a grand time here in Las Vegas,” said McClary. “This musical plays to all segments of our society, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely,” he added.

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Baxter, who plays a comical character excellently, said this musical gives her a chance to express herself freely. “It allows you to bring out the best in yourself and do some of your own antics.”

“Mama Mia” has been seen by over 30 million people worldwide, and with three companies currently playing North America, the smash musical has more productions playing around the world than any other Broadway musical.

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The celebration had a cake cutting ceremony at the House of Blues and a reunion of old cast members.

“Mama Mia” was inspired by the storytelling magic of Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus’ songs, writer Catherine Johnson’s sunny, funny tale of family and friendships unfolding on a Greek island.

On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. Abba’s mega-hit songs, “Dancing Queen,” “Winner Takes All,” “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me,” are featured in the remarkable musical.

“Mama Mia” is being adapted for film and being produced by Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman. Release date is set for summer, and it stars Meryl Streep and an all-star cast featuring Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Amanda Seyfried, and Dominic Cooper. Tickets for the musical are available by calling 800-632-7000.

Pete Allman, “The Man on the Scene,” is based in Marina del Rey, California, concentrating on producing feature films, television projects, and commercials. Pete also has an office in Las Vegas, which he visits occasionally.

Pete is also a restaurant critic, broadcast personality and celebrity interviewer. He produces inspirational messages for television and other media.

Of all the investigations he makes, we suspect he likes critiquing restaurants the most, because he can taste the food, savor the atmosphere, interact with people, and photograph all the goodies.

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