Mania: The ABBA Tribute brings high energy concert to Stephens


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Mania: The ABBA Tribute brings the classic songs from the iconic band to Ames.

The 1970s Swedish group ABBA is the creative mind behind the hits “Dancing Queen,” “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” and “Money, Money, Money.” This iconic group also inspired the “Mamma Mia!” films’ soundtracks.

Mania: The ABBA Tribute is a group of performers dedicated to carrying on ABBA’s legacy. Performing at Stephens Auditorium at 8 p.m. Sunday, the group includes Alison Ward as Agnetha Fältskog, Jeff Pike as Benny Andersson, James Allen as Björn Ulvaeus and Amy Edwards as Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

Ward is best known for her headlining act at the New York, New York hotel in Las Vegas and joined Mania in 2010. She started touring with Mania in Europe, where she is from, before bringing it to the United States.

“I’ve always loved the music, I grew up in a musical family,” Ward said. “Like in most houses, it was played often. It wasn’t something as a kid I requested, but it was definitely something I was familiar with growing up.”

Ward’s appreciation for ABBA has grown since touring with the group, falling more and more in love with their music.

“I’ve probably sang ‘Dancing Queen’ hundreds, probably thousands of times now and I love the song just as much as I did when I first performed it,” Ward said. “The minute that track starts and the band goes, the audience goes crazy, so we all love it.”

The show is a reenactment of their 1979 performance at the Royal Albert Hall. ABBA performed two shows there, with 5,000 available tickets. Between the two nights, 2 million tickets were requested. According to Mania, it was “the hottest ticket in town.”

This reenactment is as accurate as they could have made it, matching their costumes and performances to the originals.

“We have the famous Waterloo [London] look, what they wore we kind of got that and we put on a Swedish accent,” Ward said. “We try our best but more than anything, it’s just two and a half hours of a lot of ABBA songs and high energy, fun dance pop songs for people to dance along to.”

For the next six and a half weeks, Mania will be traveling from show to show via tour bus. Between tours, Ward goes back to Las Vegas for her headlining show.

“We all get to live a life of waking up every day in different parts of the U.S.,” Ward said. “It is a great life, and then in the meantime, obviously entertainment and making a lot of people happy.”

Tickets for Mania the ABBA Tribute are on sale now, starting at $27.50.