Archive for July, 2008

ABBA – The Movie in cinemas across Europe

20 July, 2008

ABBA – The Movie will be playing in select cinemas in countries across Europe this July and August.

Presumably, this will be the print restored by the Swedish Film Institute in 2003.

If you are lucky enough to live in one of the cities in the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany and Austria (and possibly more to come), I highly recommend you see it. ABBA – The Movie must be experienced on the big screen at least once. Even if you’ve seen it before, see it again!

See the Arts Alliance Media website for locations, dates, times and updates.

How can I resist you?

10 July, 2008

MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE premiere at Melbourne Central

Last night was the Australian premiere of MAMMA MIA! in Melbourne.

Thanks to Helga and the ABBA Fan Club, I was lucky enough to attend the premiere and after party, with old friends David, Manuel, Mark and Terri and new friend Jason (who told me he’s a regular ABBA World blog reader – hi Jason!).

Jason, Manuel, Terri, David and Mark

The evening started with the red carpet arrivals and pre-movie champagne in the foyer. We could watch the arrivals on a large screen, though we couldn’t really hear what was being said. Anticipation was high waiting for the arrival of stars Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Dominic Cooper. We got to see them on the screen, and live from three stories up, before being ushered into the cinema.

Every seat in the cinema had a MAMMA MIA! bag with lots of goodes – chocolates, skin care products, make up, discount vouchers, and a MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE iPod nano sleeve, in glorious pink!

Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Dominic Cooper introduce the movie with MC Adam Richards

Once everyone had taken their seats, the three stars were introduced and said a few words from the front on the cinema, then Meryl took her seat in the cinema (five rows behind our group) for the movie, while Colin and Dominic left. The movie got a great reaction from the audience, with spontaneous applause after several songs. Everyone called out “yeah” when, in the “megamix” section at the end of the film, Meryl as Donna asks us if we want another song.

During ‘Waterloo’ streamers and confetti were shot out over the audience, matching what was happening on screen.

When the megamix ended and ‘Thank You For The Music’ started, Meryl left the cinema to a standing ovation, giving a little bow and wave on the way out.

Dominic Cooper and meThen we were all bundled on to buses to go to the after party at Alumbra at Docklands. The stars were unfortunately mostly inaccessible. First they were in a separate room upstairs, then hidden away in a roped-off corner with security. Colin Firth was kind enough to be photographed with some eager female fans, while Dominic Cooper appeared on the dance floor momentarily and gave autograph and was photographed with fans – I was lucky enough to get one of each. Meryl Streep was hardly seen until near the end of the party, when she was rushed out by her entourage and didn’t acknowledge people calling out her name for a photo opportunity.

Courtney Act performing Mamma MiaDrag queen and singer Courntey Act performed a medley of ABBA hits including ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ and ‘Mamma Mia’, to backing tracks that sounded like Abbacadabra. This was the first ABBA music of the night, which then led to half of dozen of so real ABBA songs before returning to standard 70s disco music. A few more ABBA songs were played later on, each one filling the dance floor immediately.

There were a few local celebrities in the crowd. Mark Holden (former pop singer and Australian Idol judge), Tim Ferguson (of the Doug Anthony Allstars), Tim Campbell (Million Dollar Wheel host), Hamish and Andy (of radio and TV), apparently other stars of TV that I didn’t recognise. Rhonda Birchmore, Lara Mulcahy and Joylon James who played Tanya, Rosie and Sky in the Australian stage production were also there.

(Mark Holden has a previous ABBA connection: his 1976 hit ‘I Wanna Make You My Lady’ was an English cover of a Ted Gäredestad song. Ted was a Polar recording artist whose early albums were produced by Benny and Björn).

MAMMA MIA! opens in cinemas across Australia (and New Zealand, Norway and the UK) today.

ABBA reunites – sort of

5 July, 2008
Aftonbladet

from left: Benny Andersson, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Ruess, Christine Baranski, Colin Firth, Catherine Johnson, Phyllida Lloyd, Judy Craymer, Björn Ulvaeus and Dominic Cooper. Photo: Scanpix/Mats Andersson; Aftonbladet

Last night saw the long anticipated ABBA reunion – sort of.

There had been speculation for several weeks that “ABBA would reunite” for the Stockholm premiere of the MAMMA MIA! movie.

Many had predicted that all four would not turn up, or all would turn up but remain separated (myself included), as they did when the musical opened in Stockholm in February 2005.

Anni-Frid, Agnetha, Benny and Björn appeared on the balcony of the Hotel Rival, alongside the lead actors from the film and the director, producer and screenwriter. Though they still managed to remain separate – Benny and Björn to the far sides of the group, Agnetha and Frida together in the middle.

Meryl Streep, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid RuessMuch to the delight of ABBA fans everywhere (and the attending media) Frida and Agnetha together embraced star Meryl Streep on the red carpet, and then the three joined together in a circle dance. Video can be seen at Aftonbladet and probably all over YouTube.

As fabulous as it is to see Agnetha obviously enjoying herself with her former collegues, I do wish she would get herself a stylist when she goes out in public. She has worn this same outfit of white top – with a hint of black lace showing from underneath – and black pants for at least two or threee of her recent reported public outings, and it’s not particularly flattering. We all remember that black wrap-around mesh thing she wore to the stage musical’s opening in 2005. Women of a certain age should not go sleeveless. She’s still an attractive woman, she just seems to want to dress down her image.

This is the first time the four ABBA members have been seen together by the wider public since singing ‘Tivedshambo’ on video for a Stig Anderson television tribute in January 1986. Though it is not the first ABBA reunion since then – they have sung together several times for close friends’ birthdays, the most recent known occasion was Görel Hanser’s 50th birthday in June 1999.

See ABBA World’s MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE mini-site for the latest news on film premieres.

Coming Soon: ABBA Radio

1 July, 2008

ABBA RadioOn July 7, SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 3 becomes ABBA Radio, an exclusive channel dedicated to international pop supergroup, ABBA. ABBA Radio will debut exclusively on SIRIUS in conjunction with the release of MAMMA MIA! The Movie. ABBA Radio will broadcast ABBA music 24/7 for two weeks and will feature all the hits originally performed by the group. The channel will also feature tracks from the original cast recording of the hit stage musical phenomenon, MAMMA MIA!. In addition, SIRIUS listeners will hear two-time Academy Award®-winning actress Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and Colin Firth sing ABBA songs on the soundtrack to MAMMA MIA! The Movie, being released by DECCA, on July 8, 2008.

The limited engagement channel will also feature stories and insights from former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus about their many pop classics. The channel will also feature celebrity fans sharing their favorite ABBA music and personal stories, including stars from MAMMA MIA! The Movie Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, as well as Dionne Warwick, Alanis Morissette, songwriter Desmond Child and Joan Rivers among others.

www.sirius.com/abbaradio

More news at ABBA World.


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