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HELLO DOLLY! (article first published : 2008-06-14)

2008 marks the tenth year that the Johannesburg-based Northcliff High School will tour their annual musical to the Playhouse in Durban.

“It all started with that terrifying first venture in 1999 with Chicago which was transported lock, stock and barrel, from Johannesburg down to the coast in a brave and daring undertaking with no idea that the popularity of Northcliff’s musicals would grow to what it is today,” explains director Nic Jourdan.

Essentially sports orientated, with no music or drama department, the school boasts a proud tradition of musical presentation. Touring their entire production is, as far as can be ascertained, unique to this school and achievement is undeniably mainly due in the due to the energy and dedication of Nick Jourdan who celebrates a 29-year association with the school this year. The popularity of these shows now extends down the South Coast as far as Scottburgh from whence two busloads of fans regularly make the journey up to Durban to see remarkable performances by these talented young performers.

Northcliff’s musical this year is the delightful and hugely amusing Hello Dolly! which has already charmed audiences in Johannesburg and promises a treat for Durban theatregoers. Popularised by the film starring Barbara Streisand, the musical focuses on the indomitable matchmaker and meddler Dolly Levi, who interferes in the lives of the other characters in the story with the aim of arranging romantic engagements and of ultimately finding a match for herself. The climax of her scheme finds one and all at the fashionable Harmonia Gardens Restaurant, scene of the now famous Hello Dolly! title song which featured the late great Louis Armstrong, in the film. Dolly succeeds in contriving a match for all concerned including herself but only after many high jinx and hilarious shenanigans on an afternoon in New York.

Hello Dolly! has performances from July 2 to 5 nightly at 19h30 (Sunday at 18h00) with an extra matinee performance on July 5 at 14h00.Tickets R25 and R30 (July 2 and 3 respectively) thereafter R40 for the evening performances and R45 for the earlier shows All booking is through Computicket. For more information, contact Nick Jourdan 083 744 3754




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