Merry memories of ‘Mamma Mia!’

Raise a toast to "Mamma Mia!" and another to fans Nancy and Ray Sommer.

"Mamma Mia!" ended a six-year run on Sunday, after 2,247 performances at Mandalay Bay.

The Sommers, who moved to Las Vegas 21/2 years ago, deserve a hand as well for their contribution to the local economy.

For the final show, their 74th, Nancy came prepared.

"She brought a box of tissues," said her husband. The Sommers, both 50, saw their first show on their one-year anniversary and "absolutely fell in love with it," said Nancy.

"It’s a show that engages you on a personal level like no other," she said. "Whatever your day has been like, you can come to the show and walk out happy. The cares just roll away."

They took at least 75 different friends to the show, which got its name from the 1975 hit song of the same name by the Swedish supergroup ABBA. Sometimes they saw it twice a day.

Their favorite moments?

For Nancy, it’s the night when Rosie and Tanya whip around to sing into an imaginary microphone, only to see the mask fly off a snorkel and whiz over the head of Donna, the lead.

"Everybody just busted up, even the cast," recalled Nancy.

For her husband, it was last year when Don Burrows, the offstage husband of lead Carol Linnea Johnson, played opposite her as Sam, the co-lead. Burrows is usually the understudy.

But on this night, their 4-year-old daughter was in the audience and got to see her mother "marry her real dad."

"It was real magical to see them play to their daughter," he said.

Seeing the show end is sad, but there’s a silver lining.

"It’s going to leave a horrible void," said Nancy, "but we’re going to save a lot of money."


A news conference is scheduled for Thursday to announce R&B superstar Ray J is becoming a partner in Poetry Nightclub at the Forum Shops at Caesars. He’s the kid brother of R&B star Brandy. He has a reality show coming out in February on VH1 where women from across the country compete for the love of Ray J …

More media budget cuts: Spies say nine staffers at a local radio station, including all the full-time reporters, have been informed they will officially be laid off today. That’s 45 percent of the work force. The station is going to automated programming at night and weekends and will have a skeleton crew on morning drive. Production for a featured talk-show will be handled by the host …

The 10th Canon U.S.A. fundraiser for missing and exploited children will be held Friday in the Bellagio Grand Ballroom. The celebrity lineup includes rocker Alice Cooper, Richard Burgi of "Desperate Housewives," Davy Jones of The Monkees, action star Kevin Sorbo, Alan Thicke and other celebrities. Former Grammy winner Skip Martin, formerly with Kool and the Gang, will be the featured entertainer …

Lake Las Vegas resident Natalie Gulbis, whose 2005 swimsuit calendar was considered too sexy for the stuffy U.S. Golf Association, is hosting her 26th birthday party on Tuesday at Blush nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas. The party starts at 9 p.m.


Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens, at the Palms’ sleepover party Sunday in the Fantasy Towers. … Oakland Raiders wide receiver Javon Walker, backstage Saturday after the Kid Rock concert at The Pearl (Palms). … At Tao (Venetian) on Saturday: Comedian David Spade, dining with actress Nicolette Sheridan and two friends. At other tables: "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, with a group that included actress Danielle Panabaker, who will be starring in the upcoming "Friday the 13th" remake; Efren Ramirez from "Napoleon Dynamite" and Rick and Kathy Hilton. MacFarlane took in "Le Reve" (Wynn) on Friday. … Actress Michelle Trachtenberg of "Gossip Girl," celebrating her sister Irene’s birthday with their mother at Lavo (Palazzo) on Saturday night.


"Turban Outfitters" — From David Letterman‘s "Top Ten Least Popular Mall Stores."

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or Find additional sightings and more online at

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