“I was recently watching the wonderful Broadway company of Mamma Mia! once again bring a delirious audience to a standing ovation at the Winter Garden Theatre, and I recalled a comment in the New York Post review of the New York premiere in 2001 that everyone associated with Mamma Mia! has made into their comic mantra: ‘Let the joy wash over you.
Ten years ago, when I was scrambling with author Catherine Johnson and director Phyllida Lloyd in the final stages of creating a new stage musical based on the songs of ABBA, it would never have occurred to me that Mamma Mia! would be a major worldwide summer movie release blessed with a cast led by Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. I now know what it feels like to go through the full joy rinse and dry cycle!
Much has been said and written about the worldwide success of Mamma Mia! (and not just by the show’s publicists!) since the show opened almost a decade ago in London. The statistics that bring me a sense of unbridled pride and deep humility surround the notion that Mamma Mia! has become a large, extended family that numbers in the hundreds of thousands, soon to be millions.
In Mamma Mia!, Sophie wants to find her father on her wedding day. Sophie’s life and family change in ways she could never have imagined in the 24 hours leading up to the ceremony. The Mamma Mia! journey is that of an extended family that keeps growing and growing in ways I could never have dreamed of.
It’s often a cliché when we say something touches people’s lives, but it is true of Mamma Mia!
This movie is a celebration of everyone who has worked on Mamma Mia! for the past decade: from Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, who trusted me to make a stage musical and now a movie, to the creative team and the hundreds of actors who have appeared in the show around the world, along with everyone behind the scenes and the hundreds more who have brought Mamma Mia! to the big screen.
As you watch Mamma Mia! The Movie, you will become part of that family.
I hope you have the time of your life with this movie.
‘Let the joy wash over you….’”