After musical, movie, here comes ‘Mamma Mia!’ — the restaurant
“Mamma Mia!” may be in its final year on Broadway, but the ABBA musical is getting a rebirth of sorts — this time in a restaurant setting.
Former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus said Wednesday he hopes to transfer the show’s dancing- in- the- aisles party atmosphere to a Greek taverna set to open in January in Stockholm.
The idea is to have musicians and actors interacting with waiters and guests, who will be invited to sing and dance along to the catchy tunes of the Swedish 1970’ s pop group.
“They will be part of a little story in real time, which will be played out during the evening,” Ulvaeus, 69, told The Associated Press.
Tentatively named “Nicos’ Taverna,” the restaurant will open in the Grona Lund amusement park, a block from the ABBA museum.
The Greek- island setting will be the same but the story line will be different from the musical and change slightly every evening, Ulvaeus said. Without divulging details, he said it revolves around “Nicos,” a Greek taverna owner in his 50’ s, and his “slightly younger Swedish wife.”
If the concept proves successful, Ulvaeus didn’t rule out trying it outside Sweden.
“I see actually no reason why not,” he said. “So maybe if we find a good place in London, Hamburg or wherever, there will be a ‘ Nicos’ Taverna’ as well.”
“Mamma Mia!” the musical opened in London in 1999 and two years later in New York, where it is set to close on Broadway in September after a 14- year run.
There’s also a movie version starring Meryl Streep.
Ulvaeus said the three other members of ABBA — Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad — are not part of the restaurant project but know about it “and wish it well.”
Former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus poses in Stockholm Wednesday April 15 with a model of his next project - an ABBA-themed entertainment venue in Stockholm, inspired by the Greek taverna in the movie and musical Mamma Mia. The venue, planned to open in January 2016, will be part restaurant, part stage show and part role play with the guests as the stars.