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CULTURAL CROSSOVER (article first published : 2000-07-3)

The Durban Divas will be opening with their first public performance on Wednesday (July 5) at the BackStage Theatre, Royal Hotel in a show specially designed to entertain the large number of tourists in Durban over the July season. Cultural Crossover is an eclectic mix of jazz, disco and traditional Zulu dancing songs, promising a vibrant, foot stomping and blood-stirring show.

The three divas are Pinkie Mtshali, Mpume Mthombeni and Nonhlanhla Wanda. Pinkie Mtshali was a member of the now defunct Playhouse Singers and well-known for her operatic performances in Opera Africa's Faust and The Orphans of Qumbu as well as the musical comedy Abba Maniacs. Mpume Mthombeni has toured with numerous traditional and cultural promotional shows around the country and Nonhlanhla Wanda is a school teacher by profession and a jazz singer "just because she loves it".

Cultural Crossover will be backed by Mdu Mhlongo on keyboard, Bhabha Mokoena on lead guitar and Bongeni Nlanpuyana on bass guitar and features music from Miriam Makeba, Dorothy Radebe and Dolly Masuku as well as Gloria Gaynor, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. Songs include the well-loved Igqirha Lendlela (the "Click Song"), Mama Thembi's Wedding Song and Jikela Maweni as well as numerous a capella and other nostalgic traditional numbers.

The show opens at the Royal's BackStage to run until July 22. Tickets at R110 include a three-course meal in true Royal Hotel style. Reservations on (031) 304-0357.




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