LONDON - The Spice Girls reunited for a few hours on Tuesday to launch a new musical based on songs that made them one of the biggest bands of the 1990s, but there was time for plenty of laughs, avowals of mutual love and even the odd catty aside.
"Viva Forever!", written by British comedian Jennifer Saunders and produced by "Mamma Mia!" mastermind Judy Craymer, opens at the Piccadilly Theatre in London's West End on 11 December.
Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell -- or to use their more familiar monikers Posh, Scary, Baby, Sporty and Ginger Spice -- were back together 12 years after they split and seven years since their reunion tour.
Any appearance by all five Spice Girls is a major media event in Britain, where they introduced the concept of "girl power" and were hailed as modern-day feminists by some and "sugar-pop" pin-up girls by others.
Tabloids delighted in unearthing behind-the-scenes tensions and tantrums between the members when they were a major force in pop, but, for the most part, Tuesday's appearance was harmonious.
"I don't think it took (us) any convincing at all," Chisholm told a small group of reporters who met the band members before they appeared on stage to present the musical.
"It's something we've spoken about a lot over the years. I think that our music lends itself really well to theatre and when we reunited in 2007 that was when we started to talk about it more seriously."
Beckham, in a black outfit made by her own fashion brand, added: "We always said if we do this we want to work with the best people, because that's what we've always done. Everything we've done we've done properly and we've got the 'A-team.'"