BY SANTI GABINO JR.
Begin singing a few bars from “Take a Chance on Me” and, most likely, whoever is in the room with you will suddenly find themselves doing the same — such is the lasting legacy of the Swedish disco supergroup ABBA. Owing much of their success to their catchy tunes and campy image, the group’s costumes and stage shows were, frankly, disco-rific!
Along with their infectious energy, charm and snappy beats, they quickly became a global household name. Now, just shy of 50 years since they came on the scene, their popularity continues to soar. Their hits have been covered by a number of artists, including Madonna, Cher and Britney Spears.
In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the group — partly due to the success of the musical Mamma Mia!, which features their most memorable songs.
On Wednesday, March 29, with shows at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., unleash your inner Dancing Queen as ABBA Revisited, North America’s No. 1 tribute to ABBA, takes the stage at the Athens Theatre in DeLand! With their authentic costumes and perfect harmonies, ABBA Revisited re-creates the magic and undeniable, timeless allure of one of Sweden’s greatest exports.
Switching gears, later that week, on Friday, March 31, DeLand’s historic gem welcomes the music of another treasure from across the pond with “Ticket to the Moon – The ELO Experience.” The groundbreaking British band ELO began with two friends, Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne, who had a shared love of eclectic, colorful music. Together, they started a band with the goal of fusing classical and rock music. Their unique sound caught the attention of listeners all over the world, and their live shows were, quite literally, electric.
As Casey Kasem once famously said, “ELO was the world’s first touring rock ’n’ roll chamber group.” The band’s early songs were heavily influenced by classical music, and it can be heard in tracks like “Evil Woman.”
As the band’s sound evolved, they began to experiment with different genres, incorporating elements of disco and electronic music into their already-complex compositions.
This one-night-only show at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, features an eight-piece band, with a strings section along with vivid, multimedia imagery. Fans can expect to hear such favorites as “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Can’t Get It Outta My Head,” “Strange Magic,” and many more of the songs that were the soundtrack to our lives during the ’80s and ’90s!
Finishing off the week, on Saturday, April 1, with shows at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., DeLand’s Grande Dame welcomes none other than the music of the undisputed King of Rock & Roll, when Ted Torres Martin will be under the spotlight with his “That’s the Way It Is” tribute to Elvis Presley!
Martin is a world-renowned Elvis impersonator who, through his talents, has crisscrossed the world several times over! He is the 2016 “Images of the King” World Champion and has been recognized by Elvis Presley Enterprises as the top Elvis vocal stylist in the world! To hear Ted is to hear Elvis.
When thinking about the 20th century, there are few people who made as big of an impact as Elvis Presley. Elvis was a singer, an actor and a cultural icon, who changed the course of music and entertainment. Selling more than 1 billion records and starring in 31 movies, his cultural impact goes far beyond those numbers.
Martin’s commitment to authenticity has earned him the respect of Elvis fans all over the world. His show is not only a spectacular tribute to Presley’s musical legacy, but a living, ardent fire that keeps Elvis’ memory alive for all to enjoy!
Tickets for all three shows, along with more information, can be found at www.AthensDeLand.com or by calling the box office at 386-736-1500. Box-office hours are 1-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and 1 1/2 hours before live performances.