Tag Archives: ABBA

Mamma Mia! Sneak Preview at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

Mamma Mia! at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre

I was fortunate enough to attend a special screening of “Mamma Mia!” The Movie at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA. While still a week away from a proper opening across the US, it was fun to see the movie again for what is now the third time. The first being a test screening in March, and the second a special BroadwayWorld.com advanced screening in San Diego. And I will also be seeing a second screening here in Los Angeles tomorrow night at the OutFest movie festival. So by the time the movie officially opens on July 18th, I will have seen it four times and who knows how many times I’ll see it once it officially opens.

Back to the Grauman’s event, I have never been to the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre before. What an incredible experience. Hard to believe I’ve lived here in Southern California over 20 years and have never taken the time to come see a movie at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Such a historic theatre and the opportunity to explore all the hand prints and footprints in the cement of the forecourt. I was excited to see the display of the hand prints of the original Star Trek cast. Leonard Nimoy had his prints in the traditional Vulcan hand sign.

While waiting to enter the theatre, I also saw where Meryl Streep had her hand and footprints, she has the tiniest of footprints. Wow. Continue reading Mamma Mia! Sneak Preview at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

All ABBA Channel On SIRIUS Satellite Radio

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.SIRIUS Satellite Radio announced that Channel 3 for a two week period beginning July 7th, 2008 will be become the ABBA Channel. To tie in with “Mamma Mia! The Movie” being released this month, SIRIUS is getting in the act in making sure you have access to an all ABBA channel to get your fix of ABBA songs as well as songs from both the original cast recording and movie cast recordings of Mamma Mia.

The limited engagement channel will also feature stories and insights from ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus about their many pop classics which have influenced recording artists for over three decades. ABBA Radio will also feature celebrity fans sharing their favorite ABBA music and personal stories, including stars from “Mamma Mia! The Movie” Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Christine Baranski, Amanda Seyfried, Dominic Cooper, Catherine Johnson, film director Phyllida Lloyd and producer Gary Goetzman, as well as Dionne Warwick, Alanis Morissette, songwriter Desmond Child, Joan Rivers, Brooke Shields, Andy Bell from Erasure, Randy Jones from the Village People, the cast of the Tony Award®-winning musical Spring Awakening, ambassador Ulf Hjertonsson, Per Gessle of Roxette, Nancy Sinatra and Martha Stewart.

Benny Andersson of ABBA in press release issued by SIRIUS said, “Thanks to ABBA Radio on SIRIUS, both new and longtime fans have a place to experience the original music of ABBA, together with the new songs produced for the soundtrack to Mamma Mia! The Movie, in a distinctively innovative way. ABBA Radio allows for our early songs to join the new ones in harmony on SIRIUS’ national platform, and engage all generations of listeners.” Continue reading All ABBA Channel On SIRIUS Satellite Radio

ABBA Fan Club Publishes My “Mamma Mia! The Movie” Review

The International ABBA Fan Club based in the Netherlands has recently posted an edited version of my “Mamma Mia! The Movie” review. It was edited down for space considerations in their printed magazine. The review appears in Issue # 95 originally published in June 2008. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the issue, they can be ordered directly from the fan club. Go to www.abbafanclub.nl and click on the “About Us” link and select “Back Issues Of The Magazine” in the left column.

I’ve included the review here, it was edited down by Ursula Esser, a friend of mine from the UK, and I think she did a brilliant job condensing the original 5,600+ word review down to an approximate 1,400 word review. If you want to read the original review, click here. Thanks again to Ursula for her wonderful edit job and the ABBA Fan Club for wanting to publish it.

Mamma Mia! Movie Sneak Preview

Fan Club member Ryan Cameron was probably the first fan in the world to see the upcoming Mamma Mia! film in the a test screening in San Diego. Here is what he had to say afterwards. Continue reading ABBA Fan Club Publishes My “Mamma Mia! The Movie” Review

Priscilla – Queen of the Desert – The Musical

Priscilla Queen of The Desert SoundtrackBetween the Australian films, “The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert” and “Muriel’s Wedding” helping to usher in a revival of attention to ABBA and their music, it seems that ABBA’s stage musical, “Mamma Mia!” has helped usher in what has been dubbed the era of the “Pop-sical” a musical based on established Pop music catalogues. While a lot of musicals based on bands and movies have been short lived, some such as “Hairspray” have gone onto success in both stage and movie form. In truth, a stage musical based on “The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert” has more in kin with “Hairspray” than it does with “Mamma Mia!” in that both Priscilla and Hairspray are the musical adaptions of films, it’s that Priscilla’s film actually has several key references to ABBA.

No doubt due to the fact that ABBA’s catalogue has now been transformed into a successful musical in it’s own right, the powers that be didn’t want to dilute that success by allowing the makers of “Priscilla” the opportunity to use ABBA songs once again in it’s new stage version. In a way it’s kind of sad, but as they say, challenges tend to be the mother of creativity and not to be deterred, the stage musical has adapted in a way to weed out the ABBA references and incorporate a lot of other music not originally tied to the film.

In any case, what has resulted is a stage musical that is a true “pop-sical” that tells the story of two drag queens and a transsexual as they travel from Sydney to Alice Springs through the Australian Outback through the use familiar Pop music all sung by the cast. With the exception of the ABBA songs, many of the key songs from the film like “I Will Survive”, “Shake Your Groove Thing” and “I Love The Nightlife”, “Finally”, and “I’ve Never Been To Me” have made the transition to the stage show. Joining the show are several other Pop songs familiar to folks who grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s with songs popularized by the likes of Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, Bananarama, Donna Summer, and Kylie Minogue that were not in the original film. Favorite additions are the very Australian interpretations of John Denver’s “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” and M’s “Pop Muzik” which now serves as the song during the famed Ping Pong Ball sequence. Continue reading Priscilla – Queen of the Desert – The Musical

Mamma Mia! – The Movie Review

Mamma Mia! The MovieI just got in from seeing a test screening of Mamma Mia! The Movie. It was absolutely fantastic!! We are definitely in for a treat come July when the movie gets a proper release. Here’s my review. Don’t worry for those not wanting spoilers, I have a warning in place before I discuss the movie so it’ll be safe to stop reading at that point.

Thanks to information posted to ABBAMAIL by Ian Cole about the test screening in San Diego, I managed to get to the screening. I got to the theater with plenty of time to spare, I was early for the recommended arrival time and I saw a few other people with printed out invitations so I followed them in to the waiting area outside the individual theater where the screening would take place.

I stood in line waiting to be issued a wristband and then to proceed to be checked for audio and video recording devices. The invitation recommended leaving cellular phones with cameras in our vehicles because they would not be permitted into the auditorium so I didn’t have my phone with me at all and thought it was going to be a really long hour to sit through without my phone to occupy my time.

As I entered the theater, most of it had been taken by people who were in a line for people who had arrived earlier. The line I was in was the next line to be formed with space assigned for another two lines. And it didn’t look like there was going to be enough room in the theater for everyone. I had to take a seat in the first third of the theater closest to the screen because everything further back was already claimed. Eventually every last seat was filled and quite a number of people had to be tuned away. It looks like it was overbooked on accepted RSVPs, which is certainly one way to pack each and every one of the seats available and the invitation did state that possession of an invitation was still not a guarantee that a seat would be available.

Continue reading Mamma Mia! – The Movie Review