There are plenty of people who look back on the glitz and glam of the 1970s disco era with affection. But few if any could top the devotion of Gary Lichach, who has spent the past 16 years bringing two of the best vocal groups from that era — ABBA and the Bee Gees — back to life under the guise of a two-act tribute extravaganza.
Lichach will be bringing the magic of his show Abbamania and Night Fever to the stage of the Arcadia Performing Arts Center on Saturday for the first concert of the venue’s 2016 season. Packed with dozens of danceable hits from the pop powerhouses, the show should prove to be not just great entertainment, but also a great workout for those looking for a fun way to keep their New Year resolution to exercise.
“Not only do they look like ABBA and the Bee Gees, but they do every song note for note and chord for chord,” says Lichach, the creator and lead producer of the constantly touring show. “They are the closest match to the real artists that you will ever hear.”
In fact, Lichach takes pride in the fact that Abbamania was hired to perform two private shows for the London cast of the ABBA-themed musical “Mamma Mia!” The Toronto-based Lichach proudly notes that his all-Canadian performers have performed more than 200 concerts per year, with their overall total being more than the real ABBA, Bee Gees, Elvis and the Beatles ever performed combined.
The show features high-level talent, as all four of the members of Abbamania have also performed in the long-running stage version of “Mamma Mia!” in Toronto. The 12-piece band backing the singers also backs Night Fever, with singer Matthew Whale pulling double-duty as a featured vocalist with both acts.
Joining Whale in Night Fever are singers Mike Flute and John Ralphs, while Abbamania consists of Monica Tietz, Kristal Jackson and Nick Pattison in addition to Whale. Each group will perform 50 minute sets, with an intermission in between.
As a result, audiences will be sweating their way through a dance-a-thon featuring such classics as “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance On Me,” “Super Trooper” and “Waterloo” from ABBA, and “Jive Talking,” “How Deep Is Your Love” and “Staying Alive” from the Bee Gees.
“All you’re going to hear is two hours of music that will absolutely make you feel you’re seeing the real artists,” says Lichach. “You can’t find this anywhere else.”
Abbamania and Night Fever perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center, 188 Campus Drive, Arcadia. Tickets are $29.50 to $49.50. Call (626)821-1781 or visit arcadiapaf.org