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

miscellaneous news
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.

MUSINGS OF A MEANDERING MIND (JANUARY 2008) (article first published : 2008-03-24)

This article is being repeated as it may have fallen victim to a technical glitch and was not published.

I had the best chuckle of the year when M-Net treated us to a one-off towards the end of 2007 which I gather was a sort of Best of Parky - excerpts from what appears to have been the final in talk-show host Michael Parkinson’s long career in UK television. This particular programme featured a whole host of marvellous guests, from Ant & Dec (the highly talented twosome who acted as hosts of the very first Idols series in the UK) through to Joan Rivers (who managed to insert humour into relating the sad situation of the suicide of her husband way, way back – not an easy trick to pull off and get away with!) and many, many others in between. I’m sure Parky will be sorely missed on British TV.

However, as always, the Royal Variety Performance on New Year’s Eve once again introduced a fabulous new find, this time a quartet of highly talented male singers, all of whom have had extremely successful careers in Broadway musicals. Teatro is their name, and I’ve listened to their eponymous album via satellite, and it’s a goodie!

Moving on now to Musing about Models… I’m a huge fan of not only Tyra Banks’ talk show (11h00 weekdays on SABC3) where she’s putting a great deal of focus on getting young girls to understand that the photographs of models that they aspire to emulate is mostly smoke and mirrors but also of her enormously successful America’s Next Top Model where I think, over there in the US of A, they’re up to something like Cycle 6 or 7 (they seem to use the term cycle where we would use the word season) and we are lagging just a tad behind – which is a bit of a pity since we’re occasionally treated to the appearance of some of the former competitors in the morning talk show when we’ve not yet seen the results of that particular cycle of ANTM on Tuesday nights on e-tv!

This programme is a real eye-opener to the world of modelling, where the girls are requested to do the most bizarre shoots (posing with snakes or spiders crawling all over them, being suspended over empty lift shafts, lowered into empty graves, and goodness-knows-what-else, where there’s no time for being squeamish when you have to give the photographer the shot, carrying off some highly peculiar fashion garments and curious make-up, or sometimes being given a very short period of time in which to do their own make-up, as creatively as possible, for whatever look is demanded. And that is not to mention living in a sort of Big Brother environment, where oftimes the claws come out with a growl rather than a miaow!

SA has attempted to produce its own version of a model-hunt programme of this genre – not too successfully thus far, in my own opinion – which is sponsored by Revlon and thus much of the hour’s devoted to make-up lessons, with not quite as much focus on actual modelling, though there’s a panel of experts to coach the girls through the myriad of minefields that occur in this line of work.

The opening episode was quite a hoot, where the aspirant models, no doubt expecting their accommodation to be pretty larney if they’d been following America’s Next Top Model, were instead allocated desolate dorm-room digs, with mattresses laid out on the floor in rows in the beamed attic of an ancient Cape homestead, in the middle of winter, with no make-up and no mirrors (horror of horrors!) and then being divided up into two groups, one assigned kitchen duty and the other assigned outdoor farm work. Phew! A far cry from the fashion capitols of the world the American contestants were flown to at the drop of a hat, and the meals they consumed in top restaurants!

Back to the music scene now, and I was thrilled to bits when my pick for SA’s most recent idol, the youthful Jody Williams, indeed managed to pull it off (against enormously stiff competition, I might add, in the form of the velvety, deep-voiced Andriette). I’d imagine she’s going to require intensive coaching in a very short time-span, having been offered the opportunity to open for Celine Dion when that divine diva tours SA in February, and fingers crossed that, as an absolute novice, so to speak, she can come up to scratch for such a tall order.

As for Celine herself, I was thrilled to pieces to unexpectedly catch a brief doccie on SABC3 providing some behind-the-scenes glimpses into the making of her most recent album, and there can be no doubt this highly accomplished performer is a very real, down-to-earth human being, singing the praises of some of the enormously talented people involved in the recording process - to name but a few, John Shanks, producer of the album, also the enormously talented pianist whose fingerwork Celine described as absolutely magical to listen to, and a highly-regarded female singer-songwriter whose instructions she followed to the letter in order to place the stress on each word JUST as it was intended when written. For all Celine’s success she remains humble, works exceptionally hard at her craft, and the treat of a one-hour special of her show at Las Vegas on our screen on December 8 was an absolute delight, proving that the four-year contract she was offered, at the venue specially constructed for this diva, truly paid off by all accounts! So now we have a new album to look forward to, containing among others, the promising A Song for You and Surprise Surprise, and Celine’s comment is that It’s been another step in my evolvement.

And now for a mention of two highly accomplished female musicians who I would like to think of as each being highly unique, and that’s Katie (as in Melua) and KT (as in KT Tunstall), for neither artist could easily be defined as fitting into any particular genre. Each singer has a very distinct style, Melua’s being gentle and profound, Tunstall’s being more modern. But – wow! – can this lady play as well as sing! Like Katie, KT also plays guitar, but a whole lot more too, and in almost as manic a performing style as young Jamie Cullum! Where Katie’s stage style is a quiet presence, KT really rocks! Her debut album Eye to the Telescope sold over 1,5 million in the UK, and the single Black Horse over 3,5m copies worldwide! Her latest offering, Drastic Fantastic, features an amazing single, Suddenly I See, which spent 26 weeks inside the Top 75 category in the UK,and was featured not only in the very successful movie The Devil Wears Prada but also in the American sitcom Ugly Betty.

Next time I hope to review both a classical and a pop album, one by Natasha Marsh, the other by Robin Thicke (son of actor Robin Thicke) so Stay Tuned! - Bev Pulé - January 2008




 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