Victoria Beckham, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie Brown (l-r) of The Spice Girls, at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, England
By JILL LAWLESS
LONDON (AP) -- It's time to find out whether Girl Power is still going strong, with Tuesday's premiere of "Viva Forever," a new stage musical based on the songs of the Spice Girls.
Four of the Spice Girls arrived together on the red carpet ahead of the premiere, to cheers and chants of "spice up your life" from scores of die-hard fans.
Melanie Chisholm -- "Sporty Spice" -- said she was not afraid of critics' verdict on the show.
"If people criticize it, we don't care -- because we love it," she
Chisholm turned up at London's Piccadilly Theatre with Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell and Melanie Brown -- also known as Baby, Ginger and Scary Spice, respectively. Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham was running late, they said.
The musical uses Spice Girls songs including "Wannabe," "Spice Up Your Life" and the title track in a tale of four friends whose bond becomes strained when their band enters a TV talent show.
It's a pop confection with heavyweight credentials. The show was written by comedian Jennifer Saunders, co-creator of celebrity-skewering sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous."
The producer is Judy Craymer, who produced stage and screen versions of the hugely successful ABBA musical "Mamma Mia!"
Craymer predicted it would be an emotional night for the group.
"They've already cried and laughed a lot when we've taken them through the story," she said. "Who knows what will happen tonight."
The Spice Girls shot to fame in 1996 and sold 75 million records around the world. Halliwell left the group acrimoniously in 1998 and the group effectively split a decade ago.
The five members appeared on stage together for the first time in five years at the London Olympics closing ceremony in August and have reunited to promote "Viva Forever."