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Monday, February 21, 2011

How was Your Weekend?

Let me tell you - my Saturday was great!  Maybe I mentioned a while back that I got 4 tickets to Mamma Mia for Christmas from DH?  He had asked one of his co-workers for tips and she is a serious ABBA fan and I am Swedish (and I do love ABBA too!) - so there you go!  When I unwrapped the Christmas card that he wrote (since the tickets weren't released until about a month later), he also mentioned that it was for me and "three friends" and specified that he was not to be included.  Yes, you are right, he is NOT an ABBA fan!  Or a musical/theater kinda' guy.

We left for Louisville to have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in St Mathews Mall.  That did not work out well at all... the waiting was 70 minutes!  Too bad, I really wanted the other three ladies to try it out, since the other (all of two) times I have been, I have really enjoyed the food.  Anyway, we ended up at Red Robin instead, which worked out just as well and no wait!  We also had time to hit Pottery Barn (no, we did not have the moolah to buy anything) and we got a quick ice-cream at DQ on the way back to the car.  After frantically looking for a way to park the car we got to the theater in time to visit the ladies room and rush into our seats.  The theater was jam-packed!  I was not surprised, since when I finally got around to get the tickets, a week after the ticket release, there were just a few select tickets left - I was lucky to find us seats together!
The show was great!  It started out slow but got better and better!  The singers playing the mother and her two friends were fantastic!  It is amazing how they fitted all the songs into this musical without rewriting the texts much at all.  Best of all was that after the actual musical ended, the three "mature" women dressed up in 70s "space" costumes and sang together with the audience. 

 We were all on our feet, waving, cheering, clapping with the beat, and belting out "Dancing Queen", "The Winner Takes it All" and a few other sweet hits!  Parts of the audience came prepared with feather boas and the rest of the kit!  Oh, one thing that was really funny was that the young lady that sat next to P.Snickety sang along to all the songs during the entire show...  I told P that she should have given the girl a couple of bucks at the curtain!  ;-)

I am pretty at home with most of ABBA's songs, being a Swede born in the early 70s, you really did not have much of a choice!  My friends and I did a fair share of of singing in the ends of our jump-ropes in front of the mirror.
ABBA is probably considered "light-weight pop/disco", but I am always amazed when I hear many of their songs just how complex and advanced they are.  "Slipping Through My Fingers"did not become much of a hit in Sweden as I recall, but is an excellent example of the talent of the writers Bjorn and Benny.  The message is important, timeless, seldom brought up in songs and the melody is simply beautiful; elegant, flowing but not at all simple.  Here is a link to an original live recording - isn't it just beautiful!?  (I can tell you that I have listened to it about 10 40 times while writing this post....)
The other few clear favorites of mine are Dancing Queen, Thank You for the Music (can totally imagine Liza Minnelli singing this one btw), One of Us, and The Winner Takes it All (favorite comment on YouTube in regards to this song: "Today the bankers take it all").

So, since I am a Swede and this is part of my heritage, I know that all of you are twisting my arm to get some really important and ever useful ABBA facts, right!?  (Shamelessly copied from Wikipedia, of course!)
  • ABBA was formed in Stockholm (my home town!) in 1972 (my birth-year!), consisting of Anni-Frid, Bjorn, Benny and Agneta (note how clever they were, the first name initials gave the group their name see - it's like IKEA all over again!)
  • They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1972 to 1982  ABBA sold over 375 million records worldwide, making them the fourth best-selling popular music artist in the history of recorded music. They still sell two to three million albums a year (I am guilty to buying a few ABBA CDs myself....)
  • During the band's existence, Agneta and Bjorn were a married couple, as were Anni-Frid and Benny. At the height of their popularity, both relationships began suffering strain that led ultimately to the collapse of first the Bjorn/Agneta  marriage (in 1979) and then of the Benny/Anni-Frid marriage in 1981. In the late 1970s and early 1980s these relationship changes began manifesting in the group's music, as they produced more introspective lyrics with different compositions - can you imagine going through a divorce and still work together, recording music and go on tours!?  No, me neither!!!!
  • After ABBA split, the men achieved success writing music for the stage while the ladies pursued individual solo careers with varying success
  • In 1999, ABBA's music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide and had a movie version released in 2008, becoming the highest grossing film in the UK at the time (who knew!?)
  • The group was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 15 March 2010 (blast, I missed that - DH's parents live in Cleveland and I was at the RRHF in 2008....)
And we have to check out some photos too of course!!!!  I mean, they are just too good not to share...
Also a good-to-know fact; Agneta was almost as famous for her derriere as she was for her wonderful voice and beautiful, "Swedish" blond hair (this was back in the days when us Swedish girls were actually allowed to have curves in Sweden...  nowadays you're more expected to look like a man/stick than anything else - thank goodness I have an American hubby who appreciates my "childbearing hips" - his words, not mine.  No wonder that I had to move across the Atlantic!!!)
Also no wonder us Swedes got the reputation that we have in the rest of the World, thanks to photos like this one!  (Have you heard it rumored that we are supposed to be "easy"?  One of the reasons for this is supposedly Anita Ekberg's fountain frolic in La Dolce Vita back in 1960.  Shocking then, not so much today....  Anyway, I can tell you that quite a few ladies in my Guild has heard that one before - and I assure you that this was not based on my conduct!  Unless you count fondling charts and linen as risque...)  Well, if you haven't heard that one before, here is the picture proof I guess...
I especially like that the Swedish flag hangs in the back-ground.  Thanks a lot guys!  ;-)   At least we don't have to worry about the wardrobe cost for this shoot was too high.  I am however worried about the temperature - the Swedish winters do get quite harsh, so hopefully the studio was warm that day...
This photo totally reminds me of the 30th Rock sequel where the staff strongly advices Liz Lemon against using props in her photo shoot...  (Ok, something really freaky happened here!  I went Googling to see what the name of that episode is and guess what!!!!!  It is named, you guessed it, "Mamma Mia" - the main plot is that Jack Donaghny "Mamma Mia:s" three men to find out who his father is...   OMG, that is just too weird!)

A final shot from the Mamma Mia! movie premier in Stockholm!  They look fairly content, nice with a somewhat happy ending.

Believe it or not - I got a serious amount of stitching done on Sunday, so next post will be more stitching and less 70s music..  (Unless you beg me for more good-to-know ABBA facts...)
Take care and Happy Stitching,


  1. I LOVE ABBA TOO!!!! One of my favorites has to be Winner Takes It All.... such a sad song. My heart literally aches every time I hear that. Sometimes I randomly belt out Dancing Queen or Money, Money, Money at the top of my lungs... hmm, I think that's enough said.

  2. Me too, I love ABBA habve them on my Itouch!! My SIL went to see Mama Mia at the Center on Sunday. I had already made plans for another oldie. We are going to see Jesus Christ Superstar tomorrow night!

  3. Haha, underbara ABBA-bilder! Såg ut som att musikalen var bra också. Jens skriver under på att Agnetas bakdel inte gick av förhackor ;)