Laurie Veldheer took over the role of Sophie in the hit musical “Mamma Mia!” on Broadway earlier this week.
She succeeds Christy Altomare in the role in the production, which currently is presented at the Winter Garden Theatre. Veldheer previously has appeared on Broadway in Disney’s “Newsies,” and also appeared in the touring version of “Hairspray.” She has appeared in regional productions of “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Next to Normal” and “Goodspeed.”
“Mamma Mia!” currently is celebrating its 12th year on Broadway, and it was recently announced that it will soon transfer from its home at the Winter Garden to the Broadhurst Theatre later this year. The transfer will have to wait until the end of the limited engagement of the Nora Ephron play, “Lucky Guy,” which stars Tom Hanks. That play was recently nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Actor in a Play for Hanks.
“Mamma Mia!” has music and lyrics written by Benny Andersson, and a book by Catherine Johnson. The production is directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. The show has been seen by more than 50 million people around the world and has brought in more than $2 billion at the box office.
The musical, which is based on the songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA, first opened in London’s West End in 1999. Before opening on Broadway in 2001, the musical was performed in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The show’s official website says the show “unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings 3 men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, and every night everyone’s having the time of their lives!”