If you were an impressionable teenager, growing up in late-1970s Australia, chances are you spent at least a little bit of time dancing around your bedroom to the latest ABBA hit.
Veteran entertainer Rhonda Burchmore was certainly no different.
The leggy chanteuse said that after the Swedish pop powerhouse touched down in Sydney for their first Australian tour, she was hooked.
“I grew up in Sydney and I was a total ABBA tragic – singing Waterloo into the hairbrush and all of that,” she said.
To illustrate her love for Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha and Frida, Rhonda has teamed up with fellow stage veteran and ABBA aficionado Lara Mulcahy for the high-energy show ABBA-solutely Fabulous, which Rhonda said was more of a love letter to the band from suburban Australia than a mere tribute.
“This show is an awful lot of fun, both on stage and in the audience,” she said.
“Lara and I don’t try to be Agnetha and Frida, either – it’s just two Australian girls telling our story and how this group affected our lives.”
And there would be few people in this country more qualified to take on ABBA’s impressive repertoire (including such hits as Ring Ring, Waterloo, Dancing QueenThe Winner Takes It All, and Fernando) with both Rhonda and Lara appearing in the original Australian production of Mamma Mia.
“We actually had to sing ABBA songs in front of Benny and Bjorn – it was very daunting,” Rhonda said.
Aside from the litany of hits that ABBA produced, the band were also synonymous with striking onstage bling and Rhonda said that aspect of the band would also he highlighted in the show.
“Anyone who knows me knows I love a bit of bling and a sequin so we are definitely pulling out all the stops in that regard,’ she said.
“I am quite a tall lady, but I will still be wearing the platform boots – I think they’re like eight-inch platforms,” she said.
“I don’t know how tall they make me but you do have to look the part.”
Catch ABBA-solutely Fabulous at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre on Friday 26 October.
For tickets and more information, phone the CPAC box office on 4993 4266 or visit cessnockperformingartscentre.com.au.