The jukebox musical featuring the songs of ABBA, premiered on the West End in 1999. Two years later, the show was an international sensation and opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre. In the years since, the musical continues to entertain with productions and tours all over the world, two movie adaptations, and a rumored third on the way!
Come along, dancing queens, as Broadway’s Best Shows dives into the careers of the original Broadway cast over 22 years later.
Louise Pitre (Donna Sheridan)
As Donna, Pitre earned herself a Tony Award nomination in 2002. After leaving the show in 2003, Pitre has continued in musical theatre, with iconic performances as Fantine in Les Misérables, Mama Rose in Gypsy, and Joanna in Company. In 2009, Pitre performed at Carnegie Hall in the musical Kristina, written by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.
Judy Kaye (Rosie)
Kaye received a Tony Award nomination for Mamma Mia!, and has continued to appear on Broadway and regional stages across the country. In 2006, Kaye appeared as Mrs. Lovett for 1 week in the revival of Sweeney Todd while Patti LuPone was on vacation. Later that year, she took over for Patti again in the revival of Gypsy. Kaye starred in the 2012 musical Nice Work If You Can Get It, winning a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for her portrayal of Duchess Estonia Dulworth. After a brief run as the Dowager Empress in the Broadway musical Anastasia, she originated the role of Queen Elizabeth II in Diana, The Musical.
Karen Mason (Tanya)
Seven years after originating the role of Tanya on Broadway, Mason appeared on Broadway in Hairspray as Velma Von Tussle. In 2011, Mason appeared as the Queen of Hearts in the Broadway musical Wonderland and went on to recreate the role in the Tampa & Houston productions. She also appeared as Madame Giry in the national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Lover Never Dies.
Ken Marks (Bill Austin)
Marks has appeared in several Broadway productions since originating the role of Bill, including Hairspray as Wilbur Turnblad, Spring Awakening, Spider-Man Turn off the Dark, Airline Highway, and most recently, the 2022 Tony-winning revival of Take Me Out.
Dean Nolan (Harry Bright)
Following his run as Harry Bright, Nolan continued to appear in Off-Broadway and regional theaters. He co-produced a documentary titled “None Less than Heroes,” about the Honor Flight program which brings World Warr II veterans to Washington D.C. Currently, Nolan is on the faculty Texas Tech University’s School of Theatre and Dance.
Tina Maddigan (Sophie)
In 2006, Maddigan returned to Broadway as a standby in the original Broadway cast of The Wedding Singer. After a spinal injury left her with vocal paralysis, Maddigan spent years in vocal therapy and is currently an avid TikToker with over 500k followers.
Joe Machota (Sky)
After leaving the production in 2005, Machota moved to the business side of the industry, becoming the head of theater at CAA, where he currently represents some of the largest names in entertainment.
Notable Broadway Replacements
Carolee Carmello (Donna)
Following her departure from the show, Carmello originated the role of Alice Beineke in the musical The Addams Family. In 2011, she replaced Victoria Clark as Mother Superior in the musical Sister Act. Other notable Broadway credits include Scandalous, Finding Neverland, and Tuck Everlasting. Carmello starred as Dolly Levi in the national tour of Hello, Dolly! Until its closing in 2020, and most recently appeared in the Broadway musical Bad Cinderella.
Beth Leavel (Donna)
Beth Leavel succeeded Carolee Carmello as Donna in 2009. Since, she’s appeared on Broadway in Elf the Musical and Baby It’s You!, earning a Tony nomination for the latter. In 2018, she starred in The Prom, earning another Tony nomination. Most recently, Leavel starred as Miranda Priestly in the Chicago premiere of the musical adaptation of “The Devil Wears Prada.”
Altomare made her Broadway debut in Mamma Mia! Since, she originated the role of Anya in the Broadway musical adaptation Anastasia.
Judy McLane (Donna & Tanya)
McLane starred as both Donna and Tanya, and is the longest-running lead in the musical’s history with over 4,000 performances. Currently, McLane is starring as Joanne on the national tour of Company.