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Mamma Mia

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By Tim Smith | tim.smith@baltsun.com | November 26, 2009
Only cool-tempered Swedes could take a hot-blooded Italian expression like "Mamma mia" (imagine Anna Magnani saying it) and use it without any syllabic stress in a light, snappy song, as if the value of the two words derived from their alliterative appeal alone. But Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson knew just what they were doing in generating that song, and a whole bunch like it, for their famed group ABBA. The way those guys could match any string of words to magnetic melodic hooks proved magical in the 1970s and early 1980s, leading to a pop music phenomenon of global proportions.
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NEWS
Tribune Newspapers | August 3, 2012
Vienna, Va. ABBA The Concert You've seen the movie and the musical, so why not see the tribute concert to the 1970s Swedish pop group? Dance and sing along to hits such as "Mamma Mia!," "Dancing Queen," "Waterloo," and more. Named "the best ABBA tribute band in the world" by the Official ABBA Fan Club, ABBA The Concert has performed more than 1,000 time since its inception in 1996. ABBA The Concert is at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, Va. Tickets are $38 for in-house and $25 for the lawn.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | tim.smith@baltsun.com and Baltimore Sun reporter | November 25, 2009
Only cool-tempered Swedes could take a hot-blooded Italian expression like "Mamma mia" (imagine Anna Magnani saying it) and use it without any syllabic stress in a light, snappy song, as if the value of the two words derived from their alliterative appeal alone. But Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson knew just what they were doing in generating that song, and a whole bunch like it, for their famed group ABBA. The way those guys could match any string of words to magnetic melodic hooks proved magical in the 1970s and early '80s, leading to a pop music phenomenon of global proportions.
NEWS
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 14, 2012
Paul DeBoy may have a genetic inclination toward the stage. The Baltimore-born actor, starring in the national touring production of the perennially popular musical "Mamma Mia" that hits the Hippodrome this weekend, first revealed the tendency during his early years growing up in Woodlawn. "My brother used to write plays that I performed in the backyard," said DeBoy, 56. "They were basically rip-offs of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show.' We did them during muscular dystrophy [fundraising]
NEWS
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 14, 2012
Paul DeBoy may have a genetic inclination toward the stage. The Baltimore-born actor, starring in the national touring production of the perennially popular musical "Mamma Mia" that hits the Hippodrome this weekend, first revealed the tendency during his early years growing up in Woodlawn. "My brother used to write plays that I performed in the backyard," said DeBoy, 56. "They were basically rip-offs of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show.' We did them during muscular dystrophy [fundraising]
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | June 17, 2002
A GREAT Yiddish word is kvell. It means "to glow with pride." Charles Shubow has a really serious case of the kvells. He's been kvelling all over the East Coast. He's a big-time kveller, this one. Who is Charles Shubow? He's "Britt Shubow's dad," and if that means nothing to you now, please hold all tickets. This could be the start of something big. Seems like only yesterday Charles Shubow was telling -- and kvelling! -- about his daughter's great experiences in high school, at Carver Center for the Arts in Towson.
FEATURES
By TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES | July 21, 2008
Mamma Mia!, the international stage musical? It's selling out, SRO, in its normal manner. For years I've been quoted in endless ads as saying this show is "the most fun on Broadway." A lot of insiders tut-tutted this and are already looking askance at the film. But now I can add that this phenomenon will be the most fun for summer movie fans as well. And if you didn't like the super angst and materialism of Sex and the City, here you'll find three female friends (and one daughter) who are charming and also good-hearted, giddy and able to take a joke on themselves and their genre.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | May 20, 2004
Tiffani Barbour's mother first noticed her daughter's talent and flair for the spotlight when the little girl was 3 years old. "She just liked performing - wherever - as long as there was a crowd and people to watch," says Barbour's mother, Charlene D. Williamson. Barbour still gets the same thrill in front of an audience; she calls it "performance butterflies - your head gets swelled a little bit and you feel like you're going to lose a little air, but it's a rush." Now, however, that thrill comes from playing a supporting role in the touring production of Mamma Mia!
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | May 9, 2004
Quickly, now: ABBA, Elvis and Gershwin. What do these three have in common? Disparate as their music may sound, all three have supplied the scores for Broadway "songbook" musicals. Sometimes called "trunk" musicals, these are shows in which a plot is grafted onto an existing catalog of songs. By far, the most successful example is Mamma Mia!, a show that has grossed more than $750 million and been seen by more than 10 million people since the original production opened in London five years ago. Eleven productions are now running on stages worldwide, from Las Vegas to Japan.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Boston Globe | August 19, 2001
ABBA: the band whose biographical entry begins every pop music encyclopedia; the Swedish quartet composed of two couples -- Agnetha Faltskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad -- whose first names supply the initials for the moniker. The men wrote the hook-packed, cotton-candy songs, the women sang them, and for several years in the 1970s they were the world's biggest-selling pop act. But by 1983 they were finished, the couples having split and musical tastes having changed.
ENTERTAINMENT
Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun | September 2, 2010
Even some of the most devoted fans of musical theater may have trouble sorting out the history of "Chess," a work that brought together the talents of notable lyricist Tim Rice and the 'Bs' of the iconic pop group ABBA, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. The project picked up admirers and detractors as it moved from the initial concept album in 1984 to the London stage premiere two years later and the Broadway flop of '88. Assorted touring productions and concert versions around the world since then have added to the musical's mystique, while also confusing the little issue of plot - each new manifestation seems to come with another revision to the show's story line and song progression.
NEWS
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 2, 2010
Even some of the most devoted fans of musical theater may have trouble sorting out the history of "Chess," a work that brought together the talents of notable lyricist Tim Rice and the 'Bs' of the iconic pop group ABBA, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. The project picked up admirers and detractors as it moved from the initial concept album in 1984 to the London stage premiere two years later and the Broadway flop of '88. Assorted touring productions and concert versions around the world since then have added to the musical's mystique, while also confusing the little issue of plot — each new manifestation seems to come with another revision to the show's story line and song progression.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | tim.smith@baltsun.com | November 26, 2009
Only cool-tempered Swedes could take a hot-blooded Italian expression like "Mamma mia" (imagine Anna Magnani saying it) and use it without any syllabic stress in a light, snappy song, as if the value of the two words derived from their alliterative appeal alone. But Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson knew just what they were doing in generating that song, and a whole bunch like it, for their famed group ABBA. The way those guys could match any string of words to magnetic melodic hooks proved magical in the 1970s and early 1980s, leading to a pop music phenomenon of global proportions.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | tim.smith@baltsun.com and Baltimore Sun reporter | November 25, 2009
Only cool-tempered Swedes could take a hot-blooded Italian expression like "Mamma mia" (imagine Anna Magnani saying it) and use it without any syllabic stress in a light, snappy song, as if the value of the two words derived from their alliterative appeal alone. But Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson knew just what they were doing in generating that song, and a whole bunch like it, for their famed group ABBA. The way those guys could match any string of words to magnetic melodic hooks proved magical in the 1970s and early '80s, leading to a pop music phenomenon of global proportions.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley | mary.mccauley@baltsun.com | November 22, 2009
"Mamma mia, here I go again / My my, how can I resist you?" If only you could. But, oh, those alliterative "m's," those 17 syncopated syllables - chances are that by the time you reached the end of the first sentence, ABBA's familiar melody had forcibly taken possession of every single one of your brain cells. And there it will remain, until it is driven out by a different tune that's equally ... er, unforgettable. "If you change your mind, I'm the first in line / Honey, I'm still free, take a chance on me."
NEWS
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com | December 12, 2008
The Strange Case of Benjamin Button, with Brad Pitt aging backward, and Frost/Nixon, a drama of dueling egos centering on a British talk-show host and a disgraced former U.S. president, became automatic Oscar front-runners yesterday, after each garnered five Golden Globe nominations. Other best-drama nominations went to The Reader, a rumination on Holocaust guilt starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes; Revolutionary Road, with Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as a bickering 1950s-era couple with contrary visions of their future; and Slumdog Millionaire, the story of an Indian game-show contestant whose success challenges the country's caste system.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,sun theater critic | August 31, 2006
Think of Mamma Mia! as a pop music puzzle. The puzzle pieces are 22 songs by the '70s Swedish pop group ABBA. The solution is a script that cleverly ties the songs together with a story about a bride-to-be's search for her father's identity. This solution has proved such a bona fide crowd-pleaser, the musical has become an international sensation. Its current engagement at the Hippodrome Theatre comes only two years after it first played here - with several of the same cast members (including former Baltimorean Tiffani Barbour as one of the bride's best friends)
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