Written by DANIELLE MACRINI Wednesday, 04 September 2013 00:00
Mamma Mia! Memorial Park recently boogied to the sounds of hit 1970s band ABBA, as presented by ABBA Girlz, a tribute band. The group rocked the house with a fun performance in New Hyde Park.
“I was looking for a ABBA tribute band,” said New Hyde Park resident Brigid Brady, who has been a huge ABBA fan since she was 10 years old. “We used to dress up and lip sync to ABBA and when I found out there was an ABBA tribute band, I went crazy.”
Brady says that she will attend more of the shows.
The Girlz emerged on the stage to sing their opening song, “Waterloo,” in matching ponchos and white knee-high boots. The voices of Halina (playing ABBA original singer Anni-Frid) and Agnes (playing ABBA original Agnetha) were clear, even on the high notes, and infused with emotion and enthusiasm. Their staging resembled the on-point choreography of the original “Dancing Queens.”
Although they decline to give their last names, The ABBA Girlz, based in New York, have been charming audiences since 2009, when Halina and Agnes, both from Poland, started the band. In 2010, they had been collaborating for seven years, but intense audience interest in ABBA music drove them to form a full band. Keyboardist Matt Katzbohen, who played on Blondie’s 2011 album, “Panic of Girls,” joined the group.
“We get a lot of requests for an ABBA tribute so it takes a lot of our time,” Halina commented. Her favorite ABBA song is “One Of Us;” Agnes’ favorite is “Winner Takes It All.” Their first show opened to rave reviews.
The singers stepped off the stage to interact with the audience during the show. Children stood up in the crowd to dance to the song ‘SOS’. “I loved the way they engage the kids,” said resident Anne Marie Leonard. “It was beautiful out and we had a great time with friends.”
The original ABBA band formed in 1972 in Sweden. Their pop music hits were later converted into the Broadway musical “Mamma Mia” in 1999 and movie of the same name in 2008. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 2010.
April Deciantis, who has seen the band before, declared the night’s performance “great.” Another audience member, Maria Caridi, said “more people from the neighborhood should come out and enjoy it.”
For more information on the ABBA Girlz, visit their website at www.abbagirlz.com.