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Abba ManiaThe members of Abba Mania bring their top-touring tribute to the Scandinavian pop conquerors back to the Basie, in a week that also boasts spot-on salutes to The Beatles and Janis Joplin.

Tribute acts! For dedicated music fans of the baby-boomer era, the alarming loss of one AM/FM legend after another is tempered only the demand for a newer, bigger breed of hard-touring sonic soundalikes. It’s an experience that’s shockingly “Even Better Than the Real Thing” in many cases, when stacked up against the stooping shoulders and flattening voices of those aging 60s-70s-80s survivors — and for venues like our Count Basie Theatre, it’s a crowd-pleasing and seat-filling brand of fun fantasy that manifests itself three ways from here to next Sunday.

From Broadway to birthday parties, the epochal 1970s hits of international pop sensations ABBA have never even come close to going out of style – and with the savvy Swedes having stuck Beatle-like to their guns regarding any prospect of reunion, the market for maximum mamma-mia has been the province of acts like Abba Mania, the theater-scale tribute show that takes the Basie stage this Saturday, February 20, for what promises to be a “respectful and enjoyable” sound-and-fashion sojourn through such polyester pacesetters as “Voulez Vous,” “Dancing Queen,” “Winner Takes It All,” “Super Trouper” and then some. Take it here for tickets ($25 – $39) to the 8 pm show — and take it to the other side of the record for more.

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billcosby-comedycentral-2013-585x348Revisiting his standup comedy roots, Bill Cosby brings it back to the Basie for a one night stand… while cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty (below) is guest judge for a group show exhibition at the Art Alliance. 

Friday, November 8:MarkAlanStamaty--

RED BANK: His credits include several of the most influential TV series of all time; bestselling books in both children’s and adult markets; a doctorate degree in education, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – and a trophy case that boasts everything from Golden Globes, Grammys, Emmys and People’s Choice Awards, to a Kennedy Center Honor and even the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

If you think that Bill Cosby has pretty much accomplished everything he set out to do and then some, the title of his upcoming Comedy Central concert special (“Far From Finished”) should put it into perspective. So when the Philly-born renaissance guy returns to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre, the smart money says he won’t relax until he’s won over everybody in the room. Having rediscovered his standup-comedy roots in recent times, the man whose long-form stories, skits and savvy observations kickstarted his career in the 1960s brings it back to the Basie for a single 8 pm show. Take it here for tickets ($39.50 – $89.50).

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