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ABBA tribute show kicks off Cultural Arts Series season

The Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center will debut its 2018-19 season of events on October 5 when ARRIVAL, one of the world’s most popular and most selling ABBA show bands, performs in Tornstrom Auditorium. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

ARRIVAL was founded by Vicky Zetterberg in 1995 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Since their start in 1995 the band has toured in 60 countries and has appeared in several TV and radio shows all over the world. Since 2005 ARRIVAL from Sweden has made 58 successful tours in the United States. They’ve sold out arenas and venues all over the world, and have also played with more than 60 symphony orchestras throughout the world, including the Boston San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras.

“We are fortunate to be able to present this incredible group in Brainerd,” said series producer Patrick Spradlin in a news release. “They are doing a limited engagement run during their time in the U.S. We partnered with two other performing arts centers in the state to bring them here.”

Spradlin cited the resurgence of ABBA in recent years as one of the reasons for including ARRIVAL in this season. “I listened to ABBA when they first were popular back in my college days. It’s been fairly recently that the Broadway show and film version of ‘Mama Mia’ brought their music back into the public consciousness,” he said. “And most recently is the release of the sequel to ‘Mama Mia’ and the news that a new ABBA album will be released in the fall.”

The group’s catalog of hits includes songs like ‘Dancing Queen,’ ‘Does Your Mother Know,’ ‘Take a Chance,’ ‘SOS,’ ‘The Winner Takes it All,’ ‘Knowing Me Knowing You,’ ‘Honey Honey,’ ‘Waterloo’ and many others.

ARRIVAL from Sweden is the only group that has been given a previously unreleased ABBA song directly from Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA. The song ‘Just A Notion’ will be due for a worldwide release.

Said Spradlin, “This production has all the features a great ABBA show needs: lovely costumes, extremely talented musicians and breathtaking singers. They include two musicians from the original ABBA band. This production is the closest you will ever get to see ABBA.”

For some people, according to Spradlin, the show is a return to an era when ABBA first hit the music scene. “The costuming, the look of the singers, it all is authentic to that time period.” But, he noted, for many younger audience members it’s a show with music they’ve come to know and love from the ‘Mama Mia’ musical and films. “ABBA sold over 400 million records during their heyday,” said Spradlin. “The incredible thing is, they still sell over 20 million records a year, and they haven’t recorded any new material in decades. This band, and this style of music, has endured for a very long time.”

Tickets to ARRIVAL: The Music of ABBA are available from the CLC Theatre Box Office at (218) 855-8199 or online at www.clcperformingarts.com

The show is sponsored by the Brainerd Dispatch, Mel and Sonja Nefstead, and Breen and Person, Ltd. The season is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board operating grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


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