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…AND 5, 6, 7, 8! (article first published : 2007-03-27)

The world premier of …And 5, 6, 7, 8!, a new play for adult audiences about the backstage life of a troupe of cabaret dancers opens at the Catalina Theatre in Durban on April 5

TheatreBiz proudly presents this first staging of a new South African play written by Terry Davidoff and Steven Pillemer. …And 5, 6, 7, 8! is directed by Themi Venturas, with choreography and directorial assistance by Mark Hawkins. Costume design is by Kevin Ellis with sets by Cara Markowitz.

This new dance/drama examines the backstage life of a troupe of professional cabaret dancers. It provides an off-beat angle of the dance world and shows what happens behind the scenes in the lives of the dancers. It reveals intimate details of the complexity, difficulty and staged-sensuality of career cabaret dancers, constantly juxtaposing the on-stage showtime life with the backstage real-time life.

At once moving, humorous, revealing and hard-hitting, the play is a must for everyone interested in the lives that performers lead on and off the stage.

“It is sexy and energetic,” says director Themi Venturas.

The cast features Darren King as Frankie who is 35 but tells everyone he is 30. He has had a good innings and done great work, but he knows that his career is coming to an end. Reality is setting in, and he can’t really hold down a day-job as dancing is all he has ever known. Sean de Klerk is Claude, a slightly younger, camper version of Frankie. He is always in the chorus and is never the lead - a fact which has left him bitter and resentful.

The troupe has three female dancers. Janna Ramos-Violante plays Jordan, the oldest of the three girls. She is an entertainment industry professional who has a young child so juggles dancing at night with being a Mum during the day. Kim Sancoussie (recently seen in Jamaican Jam) is Shakina. Shakina (understudied by Danielle Perlman) is sexy and vivacious. She is in a steady relationship with a man from outside the entertainment industry who resents the fact that male members of the audience eye her out. Rumour has it that when he loses his temper, he takes it out on her. Sasha De Marigny plays Tammy, a sweet young thing who is a bit of a princess. She has a thing going with Frankie and comes from a wealthy family.

The title takes its reference from the countdown a choreographer gives dancers as their cue in rehearsals.

…And 5, 6, 7, 8! runs until April 22 at Catalina Theatre on Wilson’s Wharf from April 5 to 22. It carries an Adults Only rating.

Tickets R70 (R30 students and pensioners). There are Buy-one-get-one-free promotions on April 5, 6 and 7. Bookings through Thandeka on 031-305-6889. Shows are Tuesday to Saturday at 20h00 (Sundays at 18h00). Tickets available online at www.strictlytickets.co.za or www.catalinatheatre.co.za or www.goingplaces.co.za




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