|Music Benny Andersson
Lyrics Alain Boublil Daniel Boublil
Productions 1983 France 1983 London 1984 Portugal 1985 Netherlands
Abbacadabra absolute beginner ross brown
Abbacadabra is the name of a French children's musical based on songs from the pop group ABBA, originally produced for French television in 1983 by Alain and Daniel Boublil, but which was later also transferred to an English stage version and two other television programs.
- Abbacadabra absolute beginner ross brown
- Abbacadabra angel eyes almighty
- French television version
- The London spectacle
- English songs
- The Dutch version
- Dutch songs
- Portuguese version
- Portuguese songs
Abbacadabra angel eyes almighty
French television version
The French TV production consisted of 14 ABBA songs with new French lyrics by Alain & Daniel Boublil, and the story was based on classic fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Pinocchio, Snow White and others. The cast was made up of children and well known French singers like Fabienne Thibeault, Daniel Balavoine, Plastic Bertrand, Maurice Barrier, Daniel Boublil (as 'Daniel Beaufixe'), Francoise Pourcel (as Marie Framboise), Catherine Ferry, Stéphane Le Navelan, Stéphane Boublil (son of Alain), Clémentine Autain and Emmanuelle Pailly.
Frida from ABBA was invited to play the part of "Belle au bois dormant" (Sleeping Beauty), and recorded the song "Belle" (a cover of ABBA's 1976 instrumental track "Arrival") as a duet with Daniel Balavoine.
Abbacadabra was originally broadcast on the French TV channel TF1 over Christmas, 1983.
A soundtrack album, entitled ABBAcadabra: Conte musical, featuring songs and narration from the production, was produced in 1983 as well. According to liner notes on the album cover, arrangements and musical direction were provided by Raymond Donnez and production by Alain Boublil with assistance by Raymond Donnez, Daniel Boublil, and Françoise Pourcel. The album was released by WEA Filipacchi Music in France and WEA Music of Canada in Québec.
The album spawned several single releases in France, such as "Mon Nez Mon Nez" by Plastic Bertrand and "L'Enfant Do" by Stéphane Boublil, and possibly most notably, the Frida and Daniel Balavoine duet "Belle," which also saw release outside France in a few other European countries and even Canada.
The London spectacle
Cameron Mackintosh decided to produce a live-action English stage version of the TV show with lyrics by David Wood, Mike Batt, and Don Black. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, who wrote the songs in ABBA, contributed with one new song, "The Seeker."
The musical premiered December 8, 1983 at the Lyric Hammersmith theatre in London, to mixed reviews and full houses for 8 weeks, closing on January 21, 1984. Among the actors were Elaine Paige, Michael Praed, Nigel Harman, Finola Hughes, B.A. Robertson, and Jenna Russell. A couple of singles were released from the show in several European countries. One featured Elaine Paige's recording of "Like An Image Passing By," a cover of ABBA's My Love, My Life, with a B side of Finola Hughes singing "When Dreamers Close Their Eyes". Another single (also released in Australia) paired Frida and B. A. Robertston singing "Time," an English version of "Belle"/"Arrival," with Robertson solo on the B-side singing "I Am The Seeker".
The Dutch version
A Dutch version of this musical was recorded at the end of 1984 with José Hoebee and Marga Scheide (of Dutch girl group Luv') and aired on TV in 1985. Not all the songs were recorded, but the LP, released in Belgium on the Indisc label, featured the same songs as the French Version. The album was recorded with Ron Brandsteder, Bonnie St Claire, Benny Neyman, Marga Scheide, José Hoebee, Nico Haak, Willem Duijn, Bianca Folkers, & Nancy Dubbeldam..
A Portuguese version was also made for television, adapted into Portuguese by Nuno Gomes dos Santos, and an album released in 1984 on the Orfeu record label in Portugal.