Radar: Mamma Mia! at Ruth Eckerd

Welcome to Radar, where we run down the up-and-coming arts events to mark your calendar for. Today’s edition is a jukebox musical featuring the hit songs of none other than '70s Swedish pop quartet, ABBA.

Every time I think the musical theater world has outdone itself (surely nothing is sillier than "Springtime for Hitler" or more laughable than actors costumed as Cats channeling T.S. Eliot?)  somebody goes and proves me wrong. This time, it's the ABBA-licious Mamma Mia!, which comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall next week. The fact that anyone was able to create a jukebox musical from ABBA songs is a pretty impressive feat in itself (almost as impressive as it is ridiculous). But to set it on a Greek island (ABBA, from Sweden - hello? Am I the only one who thinks this is weird?) is more than anyone could hope for. Hits like "Dancing Queen," "SOS," and "The Winner Takes It All" are woven throughout the story of a young girl desperately trying to unravel the mystery of her father's identity on the eve of her wedding by inviting three men form her mother's past to the festivities. (Pictured: The touring cast of Mamma Mia!) Aug. 11-16, 8 p.m. Tues.-Fri., 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., 2 and 7 p.m. Sun., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Rd., Clearwater, $47-$67, 727-791-7400, rutheckerhall.com. - Franki Weddington

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