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

supper theatre
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
KZNPO advert DTA advert .
See also our Classified ads
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

SHOW-OFF (article first published : 1999-09-23)

The Royal is a grand old lady of hotels, bearing her lineage with pride while moving with grace and dignity through the South African transformation process into the 21st Century. Over all the years, the quality of service, attention to detail and careful observation of clients’ needs has never altered.

It is in this kind of atmosphere that a new supper theatre has been launched. Formerly the old Steak House below street level at the Smith Street entrance, Backstage – Live at the Royal now sports sophisticated black and dark blue décor with a low sweep of ceiling, sunken lights and an attractive panel of motifs replacing what was the counter into the kitchen grill area. There is a small stage, large enough to accommodate two people and a piano (at a push!).

De Wet Wraight, however, hasn’t space for a co-artist, let alone a piano. He needs all the space he can get for his costumes! Currently presenting his one-man show ShowOff, he starts his show wearing a tuxedo with a rather bulky waistcoat affair and proceeds to launch into a dizzying set of changes as the show progresses. The reason for the waistcoat’s bulk becomes apparent when it turns into a sequinned mini skirt with tasselled nipple caps.

The costumes are not outfits as such but rather “additions”, giving the impression of a full outfit, such as the front of a dress, frilled sleeves or a sequinned collar – all cunningly designed by Gareth Kenna and constructed by Neil Stuart Harris to encircle, cover or attach to the black lycra leotard and pedal pants De Wet wears as a base. One costume even becomes a ship and the Barcelona duet is a masterpiece!

Directed by Gareth Kenna, ShowOff is a highly entertaining production which affords de Wet the opportunity to send-up (often outrageously) many stars of the international music world such as Tina Turner (outrageous wig), Shirley Bassey (long white gloves and the ultra-dramatic gesture), Lisa Minnelli (quavering and dewy-eyed) and Tom Jones (pelvic thrusts), to name a few. Afrikaans pop stars weren’t safe either and there was a hilarious section which included the squeaky-clean Sonja Herholdt and diva Mimi Coertse.

De Wet is engaging and unaffected and audiences respond well to his spontaneous charm. One of the highlights was his Eartha Kitt purring through I had a very hard day last night. He was at his best with the Elton John and Elvis numbers and he closed the show with a fairly lengthy tribute to Elvis (no fooling, here!). I would have preferred the ending to be a bit more upbeat and to have heard a bit more of the real De Wet who, underneath all that tomfoolery is highly musical and can handle a number as capably as any of the people he so wickedly lampooned.

Tickets for ShowOff are R85 and include a three course meal. Starters offer a choice between Vegetable Terrine served on a tomato coulis or Seafood Symphony which was a delicious combination of calamari, Kingklip, shrimps and mussels. The main course is either Chicken Breast filled with Spinach and Feta cheese served on a Creamy Cumin and Apricot Sauce or Grilled Sirloin Steak served with a mild Pepper Sauce. My steak (and I like it rare!) was done to perfection. To follow are two positively decadent desserts – Strawberry Cheesecake drizzled with mango coulis or Chocolate Mousse garnished with fresh strawberries! To book for ShowOff, phone the Royal Hotel restaurant reservations on (031) 304-0331.


 A current news
crafts
dance
festivals
drama
film & tv
literature
music
supper theatre
visual arts
miscellaneous

leisuresmart
letters to the editor

classified ads

 A archives
crafts
dance
drama
festivals
film & tv
literature
music
supper theatre
visual arts
miscellaneous

letters

home page


a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart