Mirvish Productions is taking a chance on ABBA, again.
The Toronto for-profit theatre company’s 2024-25 mainstage subscription season will include Mamma Mia!, the Broadway jukebox musical featuring the ecstatic music of the Swedish hitmakers. It made its North American premiere in 2000 at Mirvish’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, where it ran for five years.
A touring production of Mamma Mia! comes to CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre in October for a limited run. The new season was revealed on Tuesday.
As previously announced, another blast from the Mirvish past, Disney’s The Lion King, is also part of the coming schedule. The Elton John/Tim Rice musical will return for an open-ended run starting in November, in the same Princess of Wales Theatre where it played to packed audiences from 2000 to 2004.
“The Lion King was one of the most important moments in our history,” producer David Mirvish told The Globe and Mail. “You look at the people who were in that original production for us, so many have gone on to long careers. Now, nearly 25 years later, we have a chance to find a new generation of actors through our own production once more. We never thought that would happen again.”
The season’s other announced shows are Canadian premieres of touring productions. All are Broadway tours, except for Life of Pi, which comes from London.
Based on the best-selling Canadian novel by Yann Martel that was subsequently adapted for a film by Ang Lee, the 2019 stage play Life of Pi won five Olivier Awards (including top new play) and three Tony Awards. Puppets stand in for the exotic animals that occupy a lifeboat with the titular protagonist.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical is based on Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 romantic Paris-set drama about an English poet and a cabaret actress. The jukebox musical earned 10 Tony Awards in 2021.
The 2018 comedic musical Beetlejuice is based on Tim Burton’s fun fantasy-horror film from 1988. It tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager whose whole life changes when she meets a recently deceased couple and a demon with a thing for stripes.
Back to the Future: The Musical is inspired by the beloved film franchise starring Michael J. Fox. It features original music and lyrics by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard (best known for co-writing and producing Alanis Morissette’s blockbuster album Jagged Little Pill). The time-machine musical also dials up hit songs from the films, including The Power of Love, Johnny B. Goode and Back in Time.
A seventh subscription show has yet to be announced.
Although a rebooted production of the hit Canadian musical Come From Away is not part of the Mirvish subscription season, it does makes its way to the Royal Alexandra Theatre in September, after a run at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre (Aug. 14 to Sept. 1).
Keep up to date with the weekly Nestruck on Theatre newsletter. Sign up today.