Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! ABBA: Stories from the road with sing-along phenomenon Choir! Choir! Choir!

Nearly 2,000 voices, filling one of the most acclaimed acoustic halls in the world. That might sound like performance of Handel’s Messiah – but there’s a twist. Those 2,000 voices will be singing hits from ABBA, and everyone is invited! The show is called Choir! Choir! Choir! and it’s the brainchild of Toronto-based music enthusiasts Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman. 

Arts Commons’ VP of Programming Jennifer Johnson was blown away when she was introduced to the unconventional concept.

“This Arts Commons Presents season is really about joy, and Choir! Choir! Choir! fully embodies that emotion in every sense,” says Johnson. “It’s interactive theatre, it’s stand-up comedy, and it’s a concert where the audience is also the star.

“Plus, you get to belt out ABBA at the top of your lungs. It’s the perfect way to start our season.”

The concept for Choir! Choir! Choir! started simple: Get a group of people together to do a guided sing-along a la glee club. The key difference is that you’re not just singing to a karaoke track. Goldman and Adilman split the audience up into groups, guiding each section through different harmonies. And when all groups sing together, the effect is amazing.

“We’ll do anything to get people to let down their guard and sing. It’s a party. It’s a bunch of people coming together and creating something together,” says Adilman. “There’s zero responsibility. You just do what we tell you to do, and you’ll have a great time.”

With this kind of show, Goldman and Adilman must have had some interesting experiences, right? The duo shared with us a couple stories from the road and gave an inside peek into their backstage routine.

Q: What’s the furthest you’ve travelled for a gig? 
A: The furthest places we’ve gone for a gig — both twice! — are Brazil and Greece. One trip to Brazil we made an amazing, end-of-year video with the country’s film and television stars, and appeared on a late-night talk show.  

Q: What’s the weirdest gig you’ve ever done?
A: The weirdest gig might be the time we were invited to sing at a Game of Thrones party at Casa Loma in Toronto. Then again, it may have been the time we were judges at a butter tart competition which we also sang at. Or it could have been the time I (Nobu) was in Tijuana with 400 Mexican singers and Daveed was in San Diego with 400 Americans and we sang The Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends across the border wall. Or it was the time …  

Q: If you could put one thing on your rider, what would it be?
A: Our beds from home. Or a trampoline. Or steamed clams. Or … 

Q: What is one thing you always travel with?
A: (Nobu) I never leave home without my mimi-kaki (a Japanese ear cleaner).

Q: What’s your favourite thing about being Canadian?
A: Healthcare.

Q: Do you have a preshow ritual?
A: Make dinner plans

Q: Do you have three vocal warm-up tips for ticketholders prior the show?
A: Rub your stomach, lay off the cheese, and repeat to yourself in a quiet voice: “I’m going to have the best night ever.”

Choir! Choir! Choir! comes to the Jack Singer Concert Hall at Arts Commons on Friday, Oct. 7 as a special presentation from Arts Commons Presents. Learn more at