The music of ABBA will take center stage as Southern Theatre presents “Mamma Mia!” at Thursday, Feb. 20, through Sunday, Feb. 23, in the Joplin High School Performing Arts Center.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. for the Thursday-Saturday performances and 2:30 p.m. for the Sunday matinee.

The hit musical, which debuted in 1999, is about a young bride-to-be who dreams of having her father walk her down the aisle. One problem – her father could be any one of three men from her mother’s past, all of whom she invites to the wedding. The production is set to the music of Swedish supergroup ABBA, known for hits such as “Dancing Queen,” “SOS” and “Take a Chance on Me.”

“It’s a story about family and love, set to the music of ABBA,” says Eric Wolfe, director of the production and chair of the Theatre Department at Missouri Southern State University. “If you like ABBA’s music, you’re going to have a wonderful time. At the end, we encourage everyone to sing along and dance after the bows.”

ABBA’s music has maintained its popularity long past the band’s ‘70s and ‘80s heyday, says Wolfe, with the hit musical serving to introduce the band’s catalogue to a whole new audience.

“ABBA has always been on the music scene, even throughout the ‘80s and ’90s,” he says. “Even though it’s pop music or discotheque music, it still speaks a universal language that we understand. It talks about emotions and feelings.”

The cast includes Brianna Simpson, Abby Brower, Allison Dodge, Michaela West, Baylee Scribner, Faith Escobar, Austin Prince, Joseph John-Ramos, William Garner, Kaden Propps, Preston Hamilton, Tanner Munson, Corbin Chaffin, Alexandria Gibson, Chelsie Jeffries, Hanna Lett, Alaynna Berry, Sophie Stoebel, Chansey Rhoads, Sierra Coy, Tori Reynolds, Hannah Bagley and Logan Carnes.

It features not only students from MSSU’s Theatre Department but area community members.

“It’s an opportunity to reach out to the community and interact with them,” says Wolfe. “We’re opening our doors to more people and I hope we do it with other shows in the future.”

Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for seniors, students and military; and free for children 12 and under. They can be purchased online at or by calling 417-625-9393.