The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s Pops season opener brings back Jeans’n Classics, this time with “Dancing Queen: The Music of ABBA” and its celebration of one of most successful groups in pop music history.
The Swedish group ABBA delivered chart-topping hits from 1974 to 1982, and their catchy music continues to exert a happy hold on our ears. Just try getting “Dancing Queen” or “Mamma Mia!” out of your head once it sneaks in and gets stuck.
Songwriter/keyboard player Benny Andersson and songwriter/guitarist Björn Ulvaeus and vocalists Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad formed the quartet dubbed ABBA, an acronym derived from their first names. ‘Mamma Mia” and “S.O.S.” were massive hits on three continents and “Dancing Queen,” which twirled onto airwaves during the disco craze, was a No. 1 single in America. The hits kept coming.
ABBA disbanded in 1982, but their music held its own and resurfaced again on the big screen, with juicy plot and soundtrack roles in films such as 1994’s “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” and “Muriel’s Wedding.” “Mamma Mia!,” a jukebox musical based on ABBA songs composed by Andersson and Ulvaeus, opened in London in 1999 and on Broadway in 2001. With a 14-year run, it became one of Broadway’s longest-running musicals.
The songs danced back to the big screen in the 2008 film version of the musical, starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried and more, and again in its summer 2018 sequel “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!”
Four Jeans ’n Classics lead singers handle the vocals — Andrea Koziol, Katalin Kiss, Lis Soderberg and Stephanie Martin — and each brings a specific style and strength to the stage and this enduring music.
“They’re perfect compositions,” Koziol says of the songs. “They’re really, really excellent pieces of writing.
“They have a combo platter of super-satisfying, just hooky, beautiful feel-good little melodies, but also the harmonic content — the way that the harmonies work together — is often really just wonderful. A lot of the songs have fantastic stories to them, which I dig.
“Through doing this show, I’ve actually fallen quite passionately in love with the repertoire — everything about it,” she says.
“It just makes you feel so good. It makes you feel amazing.”
Dancing Queen: The Music of ABBA Concert Program
Mamma Mia Knowing Me Knowing You I Do, I Do, I Do Does Your Mother Know Chiquitita Waterloo S.O.S. Fernando Super Trouper Voulez Vous Summer Night City Lay All Your Love On Me I Have A Dream Money, Money, Money The Winner Takes It All Take A Chance On Me Gimme ! Gimme ! Gimme ! Dancing Queen
Tickets $21 & up: buy here >