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NEW MILLIONAIRES & OLD CASH COWS! (article first published : 2005-02-9)

With a successful string of one-man shows behind him, such as Defending the Caveman and The House Husband (still his best to date), Aldo Brincat has turned his focus on money with New Millionaires & Old Cash Cows! now running at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

Straight off, it needs to be said that the show would have benefited by an “off-Broadway” season – somewhere like the Rhumbelow – where the production could have had its first public airing and the audience response assessed.

To launch into a season at the 400-seater Elizabeth Sneddon is a daunting task with an untried production and Aldo is still exploring his material for New Millionaires & Old Cash Cows!. No director is acknowledged and this may be at the root of most of the problems.

While Aldo needs to be very strict in cutting his material down in playing time, I also think he could explore his title more amusingly. The Elizabeth Sneddon is a big stage to fill and a one-person show needs to be skilfully orchestrated to play on many moods. Aldo creates heightened interest when he enacts the subject under discussion rather than narrates it and a welcome visual change comes when the glitzy animal-skin lounge suite is revealed. Even his delightful soft toy tiger provides a new focal point as it gazes benignly on the action.

However, the show is full of delightful moments. Aldo has much to say on any subject and most of it is easy chatter and the show meanders along at a gentle pace. However, he does fire some wonderful and refreshing salvos at a number of subjects from Mark Thatcher to supermarket shoppers and shortsighted people handling their monthly accounts at the ATM’s.

Talking about his childhood days, he recounts amusing memories of his Italian magician father and seeing his mother “cut in half”! He also reminds us that he is an accomplished magician himself and there are some neat little tricks with money to fascinate the audience. He really impressed with a novel way to pinpoint a lucky seat number.

Thanks to designer Kevin Ellis, Aldo ends up in a smart suit, a wild blue fluffy scarf, flashy ring and some hysterical slippers. These items of clothing arrive like manna from heaven from the roof, prompting a dissertation on roadside sellers of coat hangers, street children and bean bags!

There is one word I would dearly like to strike from the vocabulary of young people these days and that is “like”! It’s spouted ad nauseum, used out of context, often appearing more than once in any sentence and generally jams the airways of speech and communication. No doubt to relate to young people in the audience, Aldo uses the word prolifically but I do wish he wouldn’t.

New Millionaires & Old Cash Cows! runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from February 8 to 27 with shows from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 19h30 (Sundays at 18h00). It’s worth a visit as I am sure that Aldo will work it and pull it into shape within the next few days.

Tickets R60 (R40 pensioners and students as well as block bookings of 10 or more) with Tuesday and Sunday nights at half-price. .Book at Computicket. – Caroline Smart




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