Tag Archives: Abba

‘Brewster Academy’ Performance Of ‘Mama Mia!’ Was Stupendously Brilliant — A True Tour de Force.

by Anura Guruge


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Guinevere Hilton (Director) & Andy Campbell (Musical Director)



What an absolutely brilliant, stupendous show & performance. These gifted & dedicated kids didn’t just hit it out of the park — they hot it well across the ‘Bay’ (and for that know the geography, they hit it all the way across to Alton).

Wow. The perfect tonic for a very cold, mid-February night. Thank YOU, Brewster Academy. You again confirmed that you folks rock. That Brewster has the Midas touch.

We had been to Brewster’s production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof‘ in 2016 & ‘Grease‘ in 2015. That was brilliant too and I raved about it (as was only due). So, we went with high expectations and this performance way, way exceeded expectations.

Made my week. Thank YOU.

It was created by the hugely talented husband-and-wife team of Guinevere Hilton & Andy Campbell. They never put a foot wrong. I have known Andy Campbell since 2012 when Devanee (then 12) started signing for ‘Clearlakes Chorale‘ where Andy (again) is the Musical Director. Since I attended the weekly rehersals I got to see Andy, at work, at close quarters. Andy creates magic. Hugely talented. So, with Andy & Guinevere together the kids had a great head start. Nonetheless, the kids did so exceptionally well.

The two female leads, Alison Ansorg (as Sophie) and Mary James (as Donna) were mind-blowingly good. To be fair, they were all good, but these two young ladies had a lot of songs to lead and they did a great job.

I have seen so many Broadway (& London) shows that I can’t (in my old age) remember whether I have seen ‘Mama Mia!’ on Broadway. We know that we have met ONE genuine member of Abba. Yep. At ‘Meadowbrook’ — in the days when we had contacts there and they arranged it when they heard that Deanna was a huge fan. That, actually is beside, the point. These kids (and some adults) are not professionals and they are not Abba. That mattered nowt. They did great.

I was SO happy. It was wonderful.

Thank YOU KIDS.

Thank you Brewster. I just wish more folks had braved the chilling weather to attend. It was a fair crowd (for the 7pm show) but it wasn’t totally full — and it should have been.

Thank YOU, Guinevere & Andy. You two are the BEST.

Thank YOU, Abba. I had forgotten how great you were. SMILE.



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by Anura Guruge


 

‘Klittra’ — A Brilliant, Evocative, ‘Rolls of the Tongue’ Word From Sweden.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


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This as I say in my post could end by being Sweden’s biggest and best contribution to humankind — surpassing Abba.
(Did YOU know that ‘Abba’, the word, comes from the Bible?).


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This blog, now with 65 posts, is finally taking off. Thanks.

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Wolfeboro, N.H., “Pain Nurse” Sports Depreciating “ISED8M2” License Plate On His Car.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by Anura Guruge


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Deanna saw this and took this picture in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, a few weeks ago. She worked out what it says, given that she had some context to go by.

ISED8M2 = I SEDATE Them Too.

He is talking about his patients!

There is something disquieting here. It would be one thing if this person talked about skills or speciality, e.g., ISTPAIN. But this seems to come close treading all over the hippocratic oath — though to be fair, as it clearly says, this is NOT a doctor. You don’t have to be a doctor to be a pain specialist in New Hampshire. A nurse can prescribe narcotics and even do some spinal surgery! Amazing.

I looked up the dictionary definition of sedation. It is: the calming of mental excitement or abatement of physiological function, especially by the administration of a drug”. Well this person definitely does that. No question about that. But is it something that you should brag about?

Think about it.


Ever Delightful Wolfeboro, NH, At Its Delectable Best During The Last Weekend Of October 2014.

A Chinook Pup, New Hampshire’s State Dog, at Wolfeboro docks.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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I was in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire — the Oldest Summer Resort in the U.S. — twice this last Saturday, October 25, 2014. Teischan had two ballet classes. During the first visit in the morning I walked 40 minutes up Main Street, all the way past the big cemetery and then ran down, in a hurry, because I thought I was going to be late. That gave me my hour’s worth of exercise for the day. On the second visit, when her class was just for 30 minutes I perambulated around the dock area with my Canon T3i. I knew that if I was lucky I might be able to get another picture posted on the N.H. State official Tourist Site, VisitNH.gov. Well I succeeded — my 6th picture that they have used since the end of September. So it was worth it. Here are some of the pictures. ENJOY. Wolfeboro is such a delightful town to walk around. Plan to do an hours walk, in the dark, on Thursday night.


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Beatles Tribute Band ‘All Together Now’ Entertained Wolfeboro, NH, On Another Magical Saturday Night By The Lake.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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Beatles Tribute Band ‘All Together Now’, July 13, Wolfeboro
>>July 11, 2013.

2/ Blues Brothers the Next Generation, July 6, 2013 in Wolfeboro
>>July 7, 2013.



Classic, melodious Beatles’ song, to an uncompromised beat, wafted across another picture perfect Saturday evening, at Cate Park, Wolfeboro, NH, last night. We sure have lucked out. Two wonderful Saturday performances at Cate, back-to-back, with nothing but delightful, Summer weather (in what has been a rather ‘iffy’ Summer).

‘All Together Now’, without ever trying in anyway to be impersonators, did the ‘Fab 4’ proud. Bravo.

They were definitely ‘OK”. They did not butcher a single song those they did, rather incongruously, ask George Harrison to cut them slack if they didn’t do justice to his song. But, they did OK.

As a sitar fan (given my background), I was delighted that they used a real sitar, and made a very decent ‘fist of it’, rendering ‘Norwegian Wood‘. It is one of my all time favorite songs. Gives me goosebumps. IF you are not familiar with the original, try this on YouTube, and take note of the cute efforts in 1965 (yes, 48 years ago) to accentuate the then brand new stereo effects. Listening to the original made me realize why I had a prevailing sense of disquiet right through the performance. I am by no means a Beatles expert and I know this because I lived with an expert. But, from the ‘little’ I know (and I am no novice) the end result last night lacked a certain je ne sais quoi in terms of musical reproduction. Yes, I fully understand that post 1966 the Beatles were becoming the masters of painstakingly crafted studio output and that it would be nigh impossible to even get close to it in an open park in central NH. So, that is OK.

This was my first tribute band. Exactly 10 years ago, we saw ‘Abba II‘ — but there was one of the originals still playing in the band and they didn’t set out to be a tribute band per se. [I had contacts in those days and Deanna and I got to go back stage after the show and meet the band. The original Abba guy was all over Deanna and she was thrilled since she is a huge Abba fan. We had a picture of him draped all over Deanna. It hung on the all of our Gilford house. Not sure where it is. I should have it scanned and posted for posterity. Trivia question. How many of YOU know the Biblical association of the name ‘Abba’?]

I have to be objective and disclose possible conflicts. As must be fairly obvious all 4 of us are huge fans of ‘Blues Brothers the Next Generation‘ (BBNG) who played at Cate last week. We are not associated with them per se, though I do chat with them on e-mail (after I got to know them from their New Year’s Eve concert). So given that we really had a ball last Saturday, I want to be careful that I do not ‘undersell’ this group by comparison. Yes, BBNG, I would have to say, was a hard act to follow.

All the years of going to the ‘Highland Games‘ and watching multiple bands, of the same genre, perform on the same stage, one after the other made me understand one very crucial thing about groups. Some groups have an innate, indescribable ‘magic’ that sets them apart. That is why “Seven Nations“, “Glengarry Bhoys”, “Enter the Haggis” or “Hadrian’s Wall” can come on stage, after another band, and totally rock the place while the other band, though playing the same music, didn’t really make a mark.

I could be wrong, and I hope I am. In my opinion ‘All Together Now’ just missed that magic. They were good, but, I thought that they were not truly magical. Now this could be due to the setting. I am old. But, the Wolfeboro crowd makes me look young. So it is possible that there were guidelines they had to follow. The volume was a tad too sedate. They needed to have cranked it up 4 notches. The subdued volume, as is the case with the physics involved, made them sound ‘low energy’ — at least to me. But, I checked with Deanna. Her reaction was exactly the same as mine: ‘they are OK’. Nothing wrong with that.

It was a good night. Thank you Wolfeboro. I wish Alton could do events like this.

Yes, we plan to go next Saturday too.

I would like to see ‘All Together Now’ again — just to see if they impart more energy (and magic) and other venues.


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