Broadway shows come and go, but there are a few that have staying power, and Mamma Mia! is one of them. This popular musical, which follows the tale of a girl, Sophie, searching for her biological father on the eve of her wedding, is the ninth longest-running show to grace the Great White Way, and for good reason: the toe-tapping score—courtesy of ‘70s Swedish pop group ABBA—paired with a heartwarming story are the perfect ingredients for a hit. I was able to catch up with Alan Campbell, who plays Sam Carmichael, Sophie’s (possible) father, at an event for the show. During our tête-à-tête, he told me the family bond isn’t just confined to the storyline—noting that the cast and crew have a special relationship. “Theaters are happy places, so I love to say ‘hello’ to people,” Campbell says of his pre-performance ritual. “I see these people several times a week, so it’s always fun to have that family at the theater every night.”
A veteran of the stage, Campbell is a household name to theatergoers, having originated the role of Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard opposite Glenn Close, Betty Buckley and Elaine Paige—a role that even snagged him a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical in 1995. “I created that role from scratch, it was a big deal and five years of my life,” he says. Right now, Mamma Mia! is taking center stage in the actor’s life and the experience is proving to be as exhilarating as the show itself. “To me Mamma Mia! is very joyful,” Campbell says. “I get so much back from the audience.” For more on the show, click here.