Tag Archives: Mamma Mia

Elaine Paige Interviews ABBA’s Benny & Björn on BBC Radio 2

Elaine Paige BBC Radio 2Elaine Paige, often dubbed, “The First Lady Of British Theatre,” for her impressive stage career as one of Britain’s musical theatre stars. Some of the highlights of her career include being the first woman to star as Eva Peron in “Evita” and was the first to ever belt out the song “Memory” from London’s stages in “Cats.”

In addition to her stage career, she hosts a BBC Radio 2 program highlighting music from theatrical shows. On the April 5, 2009 broadcast to mark the 10th anniversary of “Mamma Mia!” on London’s West End, Elaine interviewed Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus ABBA to talk about “Mamma Mia!” as well as 25th Anniversary of “Chess” (Benny and Björn’s musical from the 1984 that they co-wrote with Tim Rice and coincidentally also starred Elaine Paige). Elaine joined Benny and Björn at Benny’s Mono Music Studio in Stockholm for the interview portion of the program.

In addition to spending time discussing both “Mamma Mia!” and “Chess” with the boys from ABBA, Elaine also got them to discuss their other musical “Kristina Från Duvemåla.” which up until now has only been in Swedish. One of the highlights from the discussion was the first presentation of “Du Måste Finnas” in English as performed by Helen Sjöholm, who played Kristina in the original Swedish cast. In English, the song is entitled, “You Have To Be There” and the lyrics were said to be a draft version and are not yet set in stone as the final version of it. If everything goes according to plan, New York audiences will be treated to a concert version of the new English translation of the show on September 23 and 24th at Carnegie Hall.

Continue reading Elaine Paige Interviews ABBA’s Benny & Björn on BBC Radio 2

RENT Gets Paid In San Diego With Anthony Rapp And Adam Pascal

RENT Tour With Adam Pascal & Anthony RappOn March 11th, I caught “The Broadway Tour” of Jonathan Larson’s Epic masterpiece, RENT, hit San Diego’s Civic Theatre. I went with my friend Louie Taylor. Part of the main reason I wanted to go see RENT was because the main draw of the tour is that it has been billed as featuring original cast members, Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal who would be reprising their roles as Mark and Roger respectively. An unadvertised bonus is that another original cast member, Gwen Stewart, is also reprising her role in the tour as one of the ensemble players as a variety of characters and featured solo vocalist during “Seasons Of Love.”

As the first tour since RENT closed on Broadway in September 2008, it seems all the more poignant to see such a high profile tour with Original cast members Rapp and Pascal on board. They’re no strangers to coming back to the roles that made them Broadway stars as they both were part of the original workshop shows, transferred the show to Broadway and then later to London, then recreated their roles in the film version of RENT in 2005, and then for a limited engagement in Summer 2007 returned to Broadway according to BroadwayWorld.com. These roles have been a part of their lives off and on for the last 15 years. In the interview in the Playbill handed out at the performance Adam Pascal suspects “when we’re done with this tour, I have a strong suspicion that this will be it for me and RENT. At some point I am going to be too old to do the part.”

Continue reading RENT Gets Paid In San Diego With Anthony Rapp And Adam Pascal

“Absolutely Fabulous” Send Up of Mamma Mia! The Movie

Mamma Mia! Parody With Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, and Joanna LumleyMy friend Merrick Wolfe, who served as the Company Manager for the Las Vegas production of Mamma Mia! at the Mandalay Bay for the first year of the production, always thought that the roles of Rosie and Tanya for a film version of the movie should be played by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders of the British comedy team, French & Saunders. Merrick thought this long before a filmed version of Mamma Mia! was ever set to become a reality.

Well Mamma Mia! The Movie swept the world last year with Julie Walters and Christine Baranski in the roles, but now Merrick has sort of gotten his wish in that, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, have chosen to do a send up of Mamma Mia! The Movie for the BBC’s annual Red Nose Day fundraiser celebration. They also drafted Jennifer Saunder’s partner in crime from her hit BBC series “Absolutely Fabulous”, Joanna Lumley, and have created a brilliant send up of Mamma Mia! The Movie. Dawn French plays Julie Walters in her role as Rosie, as Merrick had wished so long ago. However his desire to see Jennifer Saunders as Tanya, didn’t quite pan out exactly. Here Jennifer sends up Meryl Streep in the role of Donna, and Joanna Lumley comes in to play Christine Baranski as Tanya. Continue reading “Absolutely Fabulous” Send Up of Mamma Mia! The Movie

The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World

Now that 2009 is now upon us, it seems that it would be good to take a few minutes to highlight what made high points for me in 2008. Taking a quick glance at the list of items that made the list this year, it seems that the very early 1980’s seem to be related to almost all of the items that make the list for this year. The influence of the 1980’s will be readily apparent as you check out the list. And I’ll point those out along the way for those who might not quite see the influence.

Without further ado, I now present My 9 Most Incredible Things of 2008, in no particular order… Continue reading The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World

First Look – Mamma Mia! The Movie Deluxe Edition Soundtrack

Due to one of my local retailers putting out their stock of new releases on Sunday instead of Tuesday, I am able to offer a sneak peak to Tuesday’s US release of the new Mamma Mia! The Movie Deluxe Edition Soundtrack.

The Packaging

The Deluxe Edition Soundtrack is housed in a hardbound book that’s roughly the size of a standard DVD plastic case. When the “book” style packaging is opened it reveals a printed book attached the the front part of the cover and a heavy duty 2 disc clear plastic tray glued down the the back side. As the book tends to look more like a booklet that’s just glued to the front side of the cover, when you open it, you’ll see the back cover of the booklet and you’ll have to manually flip to the pages you want.

The discs included are a soundtrack CD that features different screen printing on the actual disc from the previously released version. Instead of a photo from the “Voulez-Vous” scene, the disc now features a shot of the main cast in their “Waterloo” scene outfits lined up with sparks flying in the background. The track listing of the CD is also printed on the disc below the image. The bonus DVD that’s exclusive to this package, also features the same “Waterloo” image except the text below the image indicates it’s a bonus DVD.

Continue reading First Look – Mamma Mia! The Movie Deluxe Edition Soundtrack

Xanadu Works Its Magic In San Diego

Last night I took the opportunity to check out the new stage version of Xanadu that is currently playing at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego. Technically I have a ticket for the show next week, but I got an offer in my e-mail to see the show earlier through Goldstar and at bargain price, so why not take a chance and go.

The seat I ended up with was an on-stage seat. Basically how the set is structured is that it looks a little like a Ancient Greek amphitheatre with a main performance area at the front of the stage and some tiered seating towards the back of the stage where additional audience members get seated and fill out the presence on stage. Sections of the on stage seating are left empty so that the cast members can sit and be part of the background and jump back into the show when appropriately timed. Additionally some props for them are stashed in the seating for use during the show as well.

Unlike regular seats, we had to be given a briefing on what we were expected to do which is basically have fun and stay seated until the orchestra plays its final note. There would be no chances for a bathroom break and if we had to leave, we could but would not be able to return to the stage seats. And we would not be issued our copies of the playbill until after the show. The show runs about ninety minutes so no problem there. We were also issued a glow stick and instructed that we would be told by the cast when it is time to break the glow stick to activate it and wave it around.

Continue reading Xanadu Works Its Magic In San Diego

Mamma Mia! Soundtrack Has New “Deluxe Edition”

Amazon.com has the new “Deluxe Edition” of Mamma Mia! The Movie’s soundtrack scheduled to come out on November 25, 2008 in the United States. Although the soundtrack portion will remain the same as it was when it was released in July of this year, it comes with a hard cover booklet featuring lyrics to the songs as well as housing some unseen photos as well as commentary regarding the film and the soundtrack. Additionally the set will include a DVD with approximately 30 minutes of footage of the recording sessions as well as interviews with Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, and original ABBA members, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. It will serve as a “making of” for the soundtrack.

The “Deluxe Edition” of the soundtrack comes out in the US, the same week that the DVD of the movie comes out in the United Kingdom. However, US DVD buyers have to wait until December 16th to get a US released copy of the movie on DVD and Blu-Ray. Australian and New Zealand consumers will be the first to get the DVD when it releases in those territories on November 6rd, however they have to wait until December 3rd for the Blu-Ray edition.

Continue reading Mamma Mia! Soundtrack Has New “Deluxe Edition”

Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas Closes

After a little more than a decade, Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton shuts it’s doors. The closure comes as contract renewal talks between Paramount/CBS, Cedar Fair, and Colony Capital stalled. The main hold out was Colony Capital who owns the Las Vegas Hilton, who bought the Hilton from Caesars Entertainment (formerly Park Place Entertainment at the time Star Trek: The Experience opened) didn’t like the deal where Star Trek: The Experience was like a retailer just renting space, and not sharing in the revenue generated from the attraction. Cedar Fair, the company that bought the operations of the attraction from Paramount Parks and Paramount/CBS who owns the Star Trek franchise weren’t able to secure a renewal of the contract and as such has decided to close Star Trek: The Experience.

The last day of operations for Star Trek: The Experience was September 1, 2008 and concluded the business day with a decommissioning ceremony normally only afforded to the decommissioning of naval vessels. Star Trek gets a lot of it’s lore from naval tradition except instead of sailing the waters, its the stars. Despite the fact the current contract doesn’t expire until the end of the year, the decision to close on September 1st, is to allow Cedar Fair the time necessary to return all the Star Trek property back to Paramount and gut the complex to hand it over to Colony Capital as empty space.

Continue reading Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas Closes

HMV.com Takes Pre-Orders On Mamma Mia! The Movie

HMV is one of the first to take pre-orders of Mamma Mia! The Movie

HMV.com based out of the UK is one of the first online retailers to start taking pre-orders on “Mamma Mia! The Movie” with a price of £12.99 for the standard DVD and £16.99 for the Blu-Ray version. The official release date for the UK according to the HMV site is November 24, 2008. (I’m guessing that means a November 25th release date for the U.S.)

HMV is also offering a chance win a trip to the Greek Islands for UK residents who enter the contest on their website. Sounds like a great trip for two to fly from London to Greece to spend a week visiting the islands of Skiathos & Skopelos (where the movie was partially filmed) with a private cruise and a spa experience and you even get breakfasts and dinner as well as travel insurance included in the prize package. Makes me wish I lived in the UK just to enter the contest.

In any case, the chance to pre-order the movie at HMV.com is available by clicking here, and in the meantime they are also offering sale prices on the Mamma Mia! movie soundtrack, the stage show cast recording, and of course, the original ABBA albums and compilations. Free shipping within the UK, and reasonable shipping rates to the rest of the world.

Listen to Mamma Mia! Movie Soundtrack for Free on Sirius

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.Sirius Satellite Radio’s Channel 77, Broadway’s Best, regularly runs a daily program called “Showtime!” where they play cast recordings from start to finish or as they call it, from Overture to Finale. They run the shows nightly Mondays through Saturdays at 8pm Eastern (5pm Pacific) and special “matinee” shows on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2pm Eastern (11 am Pacific). This is a great chance to listen to cast albums from various shows to see if they might be ones you want to buy or shows you might want to try and see. And thanks to the Sirius 3-Day Free Trials, you can experience a couple days worth of shows for free.

On Wednesday, August 13th, 2008, Broadway’s Best on Sirius Channel 77 will be featuring the movie cast album of Mamma Mia! featuring Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, and Pierce Brosnan. They will be running it for both the matinee presentation at 2pm Eastern (11am Pacific) as well as the evening broadcast at 8pm Eastern (5pm Pacific). It’s a great chance to hear the song from the movie as they appear on the cast album (which are different from the performances in the movie.) Even the newly added song to Mamma Mia!, “When All Is Said And Done” features some new lyrics that were not featured in the version used in the movie. You’ll be able to hear here at no cost with a free Sirius trial.

Click here or the Sirius Logo above to sign up for a free Sirius Satellite Radio trial, just don’t do it until just before or on August 13th to ensure your free trial encompasses the “Mamma Mia!” Movie soundtrack broadcast. And if you decide you like the soundtrack album and want to get a copy of it, click here to get it from Amazon.com. Or check out the auctions on eBay below for the Mamma Mia! Movie soundtracks below. Continue reading Listen to Mamma Mia! Movie Soundtrack for Free on Sirius