Af­ter mu­si­cal, movie, here comes ‘Mamma Mia!’ — the restau­rant

The China Post - - ARTS - BY KARL RIT­TER

“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.

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