A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

dance
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

8-TEASE (article first published : 2000-02-27)

No matter how talented they are, there’s one unavoidable problem that could confront up-and-coming cabaret stars on the circuit. Their age. Most adult review bars do not admit persons under 18 which is a problem that faced young Mia Thomas when she wanted to audition for 8-Tease, the new revue at the Wild Coast Sun’s Wild Orchid Showbar. Sure, she had the ability and the talent to be chosen as the feature singer but she wasn’t even old enough to enter the venue!

Thankfully, for audiences of this highly professional, disciplined and colourful show, the diminutive Mia is 18 and old enough to grace the stage with her considerable maturity, sensational figure, cool elegance and very pleasing voice. On the opening night, she was battling with laryngitis and this manifested itself with musical phrases that should have flowed easily but were disjointed because of a lack of breath control. Frankly, if that is how she sounds off-colour I can’t wait to hear her on top form.

With assistance from Debbie Venter, director and choreographer Julie de Jager has produced a fast-moving show and chosen strong dancers to cope with the high level of energy required. Supporting Mia, who impressed with numbers such as I’ve Never Been to Me, 99 Red Balloons, Black Velvet and Eternal Flame, are Caroline Boucher, Chantal Geyer, Sean Lane, Charles Mashoko, Suzanne Smithdorf, Cathy van Vuuren and Ebrahim West,

8-Tease opened in October last year and, as I mentioned in my review (also on this website, now in the Archives section), “the cast has to cope with major competition from an unusual quarter – their own costumes”. Designed by Julie de Jager and executed by Sue Hicks of Just Sew, they were innovative, classy and uncluttered with a strong emphasis on black and luminous colours.” From the opening number in vivid purple lycra and sequins, the accent is on straps – whether as lattice-type low bodice work for the female dancers or as macho studded harness tops for the males. The costumes are scene stealers in their own right and, five months into the run, they look as crisp and spanking new as they did on opening night.

Julie de Jager has added extra numbers suited to Mia’s voice which means that there are more costumes to add to the visual feast, particularly a delightful Carmen Miranda take-off with skirts of bananas with pineapple halves covering the dancers’ breasts. I wasn’t happy with the cross-dressing number Girls Just Wanna Have Fun the first time around and I still think it’s tatty and inappropriate for this sophisticated show but at least Sean, Charles and Ebrahim are a little more comfortable in their parts than they were before. Ebrahim’s skill in extremely high stilettos is a feat to watch!

The show has sophisticated and sexy lighting sequences but the sound tended to be overloud on the night I was there, occasionally drowning the singer.

8-Tease is expected to run until May. Tickets are R30 available from the Wild Coast Sun office (after 16h00). More details from (039) 305-2955.

Wheelchair report: The Wild Coast Sun is wheelchair-friendly and the bathrooms designed for the disabled are a joy, with safety bars strategically placed and large enough to move around in without bumping into everything in sight! Because the Wild Coast Sun is currently re-vamping its casino complex, I had to reach the Wild Orchid Showbar via the kitchens. An interesting and highly circuitous trip and I am pleased to report that all areas are clean and well-maintained. Once the renovations are over, though, those in wheelchairs will be able to reach the revue bar via a more direct route.




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart