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REVIEW : IT'S TOO DARN HOT (article first published : 1999-04-15)

Watch out, boys, Melanie Roberts is back in town! Having spent the last three years in Dubai and Germany, she's decided that there's no place like South Africa. But, sorry chaps, she's not available as this bubbly redhead is now happily married and a proud mother. Once back home, Melanie lost no time in getting back into the swing of things and decided to bring some "girl-power" to the supper theatre scene by inviting friends Kate Bruce and Liz Cunningham to join her in a three-girl revue, "It's Too Darn Hot".

Marriage and motherhood seem to have given Melanie's voice a striking and forceful added maturity, strength and depth and this is seen to good advantage at this show which runs at the Langoustine's Theatre by the Sea until the end of the month. Unfortunately, however, we were not to see too much of these newly-acquired vocal dimensions in this production which is touted as a saucy, sassy musical cabaret.

While the costumes, lighting and effects point to sophistication the show falls down because of its fairly inane linking sequences. My view is, if you must have links , make something of them - otherwise, let the music do the talking.

Kate Bruce is, as always, a powerhouse of energy (despite the flu) and her acting ability stands her in good stead, especially in a particularly funny send-up of a blonde Afrikaans bimbo dressed in Country & Western kitsch.

Liz Cunningham (formerly Liz Hibbert) has been a stalwart of the extremely active Company of Theatre Arts for many years. With her willowy figure and close-cropped hair she is a good foil for the other two singers and was heard to best advantage with Melanie in "Movin' On Up".

In general, the three work well together although sometimes the musical arrangements are questionable. The show offers an enjoyable night out and the food, I'm happy to report, is a vast improvement from that presented when the room was launched as a supper theatre venue.

It's Too Darn Hot is performed Tuesdays through to Sundays until May 7. Tickets at R85 include a set choice three course meal. There's not much choice with the starter, though, which is simply a calamari salad - very tasty but swamped in too much dressing. Turning to the main course, my lamb shanks were delicious and others in the party pronounced the chicken and prawn curry as well as the Kingklip Mornay equally good. For dessert there's crème caramel or fruit salad. To book phone 563-7324.


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