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

THE GREAT PRETENDERS (article first published : 2002-08-3)

The Great Pretenders will be the second show in The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway’s Spring Season, running for three weeks from August 20 to September 8.

It is a nostalgic tribute to some of the greatest international singers of yesterday and today. Audiences are transported down memory lane by the eight singers in the show with some memorable impersonations of Elvis Presley, Righteous Brothers, Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones, The Platters, The Drifters, Shirley Bassey, Gloria Gaynor, Chuck Berry, Neil Sedaka and Sammy Davis Jnr, among others.

The tribute visits music from the 1940s right through to the present, including songs from Celine Dione, Mariah Carey and Julio Iglesias, with rock ‘n roll, ballads, blues, soul and jazz all forming part of the musical content. The cast performs and sing in close four-part harmony as well as duets, trios and solos.

The show is linked by historical and musical anecdotes by host Jayson King, who comperes with the humour of the “Capie” in the style of Gammatjie and Abdoltjie. A true family show, The Great Pretenders is running into its tenth year, performing successfully on various stages throughout South Africa, and has become widely known due to their many performances on prime time slots on television.

The production was started by Jayson King in the early 60’s whilst living at the foothills of Table Mountain in the renowned District Six. During those days it was common for local singers to copy international singing stars which they heard on Springbok Radio. “Pretending” was normal on the corners of the cobble streets, when the sidewalk became the stage and the streetlight became the spotlight.

Today the tradition goes on as King and his cast enjoy playing to a wide spectrum of people who were never able to witness the true talent of the Cape.

Tickets R65 for shows Wednesday to Saturday, with the popular “Buy One Get One Free” promotion applicable on the Tuesday night and Sunday lunchtime shows. B bookings and enquiries, phone The Barnyard Theatre on 031 566-3045/6, e-mail barngate@mweb.co.za or visit www.barnyardtheatre.co.za for more information.

Forthcoming shows in The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway’s Spring Season are Defending the Cave Woman (September 10-15), Mick & Tina (September 17-22) and Barry Hilton (September 24-29).




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