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‘Mamma Mia!’ shatters 21-year Croswell box office record

Chelsie Cree of Toledo, Lena Spiegel of Adrian and Lucy Hagedorn of Oregon, Ohio, are pictured in a scene from "Mamma Mia!" at the Croswell Opera House


Adrian MI,

The Croswell Opera House’s recent production of the musical “Mamma Mia,” which closed July 1, broke all previous box office records to become the most-attended show in the Croswell’s history.

A total of 6,583 tickets were issued for the show. The previous record, which stood for 21 years, was held by “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” which drew 6,060 guests in November 1997.

“About half of our guests who came to this show were new to the Croswell, and many of them were completely new to our community,” said Jere Righter, the Croswell’s artistic director. In addition, 60 percent of ticket buyers came from outside of Lenawee County.

“We’re proud to be contributing to economic development by bringing people here from all over southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio,” Righter said. “By giving people from other areas a reason to come to Adrian, we’re helping to introduce them to everything our community has to offer.”

In a 2017 survey, two-thirds of Croswell patrons reported eating at area restaurants either before or after attending a show.

The Croswell was built in 1866. It was mainly a rental venue for its first 50 years and then a movie theater for the next 50. It has been producing live theater in the space since 1968.

The Croswell’s top 10 most-attended shows are:

1. “Mamma Mia!” (June 2018): 6,583

2. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (November 1997): 6,060

3. “Grease” (July 1997): 5,680

4. “Mary Poppins” (June 2015): 5,583

5. “Beauty and the Beast” (September 2017): 5,571

6. “Jesus Christ Superstar” (February 2000): 5,535

7. “The Wizard of Oz” (November 1998): 5,491

8. “South Pacific” (August 1997): 5,173

9. “Big River” (August 1993): 5,150

10. “Singin’ in the Rain” (June 1990): 5,129

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