Sing-A-Long-A ABBA

Dancing Queen competition, party bags, big screen with lyrics, fancy dress recommended!
New Theatre, Fri May 4th 2007 & Tue October 28th 2008

October 30, 2008
Magic moments bag – check. Audience filled with a mixture of students and people who remembered Abba the first time around – check. A suitable smattering of fab 70s costumes – check. So, on with the show!

Another fabulous cheese-fest of Abba music, which the audience can sing along to via the words on a giant screen at the back (although let’s face it, most of us there knew them all anyway!) – a glam tribute show laced with humour and some audience humiliation. (Our queen for the night was Martin – a regular bloke dragged out of his seat who ended up dancing a solo slot and went home wearing a sparkly tiara – great sport!) The band were great, funny, upbeat, good routines, and of course the fab 70s costumes.

You can’t go to this show and not participate – there are silly dances to do, silly things to wave, there is much laughter and you really should end the night without much voice because of all the singing – it really is great fun, a fab night out and of course with the success of Mamma Mia this summer, I expect the singalong Abba shows to be even more popular again – I say Thank you for the Music, and long live the show!

May 7, 2007
Back in 1983 when I had a serious Duran Duran habit, I was a proud member of the I-Hate-the-70s Club. My Aunt Cathy, on the other hand, was not. One day over a heated discussion about the relative merits of disco music (there were none, as far as I was concerned), she seriously asked, 'What's wrong with Abba'? I couldn't answer because, quite frankly, I hadn't heard much of their music. By the time I had become musically aware and the Scandinavian super group were singing their swan song, my head had been stuck firmly between a pair two-feet tall speakers practicing for the day when I would be plucked out of obscurity to be D 2's new back-up singer. Truth was I had never given Abba a proper chance. It took Abba-esque in the 90s to bring me to my senses, and since then the mere notion of actually turning the radio off when one of Bennie and Björn's songs is playing simply does…not…compute. (Sigh)

The crowd attending that night was a mixed bag with most folks in regular clothing and clumps of others dressed as Abba lookalikes, subjects of Abba songs (e.g. money as in 'Money, Money, Money') and a hodgepodge of 70s motifs. My friend Ginny and I sat next to a group of particularly enthusiastic guys who had gone all-out with their dress; one even sported 4-inch silver platforms. Everyone received a 'magic moments' bag that contained various props to be waved or fired off as we all sang along to lyrics projected on a screen behind the quartet of cartoon-like Abba clones who sang and danced while pantomiming playing their instruments.

I've never told my Aunt Cathy about my Swedish conversion, but I'm sure she would feel vindicated to hear about my attendance of (and gleeful participation in) Sing-A-Long-A Abba on Friday night. That I had actually joined a cohort of unabashed Agnetha and Frida wannabes desperately hoping to be nominated for the Dancing Queen Competition would have been no less entertaining. Truth is that while playing Rock-Star-in-the Mirror at home can be quite cathartic, it can't beat the camp karaoke-like frenzy of singing your heart out to songs you love in a room with a few hundred of your new best, albeit be-wigged and spandex-clad, friends. Yeah, it was really fun.
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