Seventies Swedish pop group ABBA continues to resurface in new ways. Catherine Johnson’s jukebox musical, Mamma Mia!, is a tale about a young woman finding her father, with ABBA songs pushing the story forward.
For husband and wife actors Vincent Corazza and Jane Cooke, this production’s feel-good factor works both on stage and off. Though they’ve done movies together, this is their first time in the same stage production. It’s also a kind of homecoming.
“We’ve been in Los Angeles for the last eight years, though we first met in Toronto,” says Cooke by phone. “Vince’s parents are there, and my eldest nephew goes to York.”
“Everyone’s in the production is looking forward to our nine weeks in Toronto,” adds Corazza by speakerphone, “we’ll finally get Mondays off. Usually, that’s the day when we’re travelling to the next town.”
Coincidentally, this musical’s North American premiere was here in the Big Smoke. Over forty million people have seen this production since its debut in 1999. It has earned over two billion dollars.
“25 disco songs are woven into a single story,” says Corazza. “It really works without changing the material much at all. Characters interact and then burst into song. There’s also a concert built into the script.”
• Mamma Mia! is playing at the Princess of Wales Theatre