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DISCO FEVER! (article first published : 2007-11-9)

Stuart Mey of the Dockyard Theatre has put together a highly entertaining show with Disco Fever! which will run over the festive season at his supper theatre venue in Musgrave Centre. There’s an excellent choice of music, an energetic cast and good live backing.

The aim was to create as much of a party vibe as possible and this has certainly been achieved in a programme that features the music of Lionel Ritchie, Gloria Gaynor, Earth Wind & Fire, Barry White, The Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, Kool & the Gang and other classic dance music acts.

Vocalists are Dockyard regulars Karen Wood, Dave Arnold, Andrew Jones, Paul Cassells and Albert Bristow. The youthful members of the band include Kirsty Madgin on sax, keyboards and vocals; Musa Mtetwa on keyboards; guitarist Chris Brink, and bassist Lloyd de Gier. Paul Cassells and Andrew Jones do a good turn in musical chairs as they swop places at the drum kit.

The mood starts swinging from the start with Celebration before we are introduced to one Diego da Silva, the host of the Silver Palms disco in Miami Beach, Florida. If we needed help in relocating ourselves, the waving silver palms boost the imagination – it’s always windy in Miami! If we weren’t in the mood by then, Karen’sRaining Men pressed the action button and it was fast forward from there on!

Stuart Mey is fortunate in having gathered together a multi-talented and versatile company of singers and musicians who work well together. Their enjoyment of their work is infectious and the audience immediately responds to their energy.

Dave Arnold is always rock solid as a link man, holding everything together with apparent ease and strong humour, and this time he creates much laughter with his Latino accent. Andrew Jones is an asset to any musical theatre company: funny and endearing, he’s a fine singer and moves well. His Kung Fu Fighting was a delight.

By his very height, Albert Bristow introduces a imposing element and his In The Navy had female hearts aflutter – there’s always something about a good-looking man in naval uniform! Paul Cassells reprises his interpretation of Maurice Gibb from the previous Dockyard Bee Gees tribute and won much applause for his nifty Michael Jackson renditions.

Karen Wood provides the glamour and glitz and her distinctive focused performance was seen in numbers like Lady Marmalade, If You Could Read My Mind and Hotstuff.

Stuart has designed a well-positioned set that allows enough floor space for the performers to recreate the actual steps used in movies such as Saturday Night Fever. Costumes have been created to mirror the original outfits.

Disco Fever! gives you your money’s worth. Apart from the stage show, the meals on offer are always good. Starters include Prawn Cocktail, Chicken Livers Peri-Peri, Spinach & Feta Phyllo Pastry Rollettes and ‘Tato Skins. I chose the Prawn Cocktail but would have preferred less seafood sauce (perhaps better served on the side?). For main course I opted for Calamari (also available as a starter portion) and the menu promise held true that the deep-fried version would not be oily. My partner maintains that Dockyard’s Sirloin Steak is the best in town so that was her choice. Other mains items were Hake & Calamari Combo, Veg Lasagne and Chicken Kiev. Desserts are an optional extra and these included a Fruity Glaze, Homemake Milk Tart and Dom Pedro as well as Ebony & Ivory, a nicely presented chocolate and vanilla mousse.

Disco Fever! runs from October 24 to December 31, culminating in Dockyard’s ever-popular New Year’s Eve Bash! Tickets R180 Wednesdays to Saturdays covers a two-course meal and show (R130 Sunday Special of roast dinner and show). Tickets R350 for the New Year’s Bash offers a four-course meal and show and New Year’s Eve party.

Apart from the normal evening dinner package, the Dockyard Theatre offers two other options for corporate functions: a breakfast show with buffet breakfast and a lunch-time matinee with two or three course meal. Further information from Melissa or Karen on 031 201 9147 or visit www.dockyardtheatre.co.za – Caroline Smart




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