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FOREVER YOUNG (article first published : 2004-01-25)

The Barnyard Theatre’s newest production, Forever Young, will rock the Gateway venue from February 10 to March 28. This one is dedicated to those musicians and singers who remain etched in memory because of the mark they made on both the musical world and society.

Buddy Holly makes an appearance in this iconic tribute and the much-loved song American Pie which makes reference to his untimely death forms an integral part of the show. Emphasis is placed on the hard-hitting lines: “I can’t remember if I cried, When I read about his widowed bride, But something touched me deep inside, The day the music died.”

In the autumn of 1971 Don McLean’s American Pie entered the collective consciousness, and over 30 years later remains one of the most discussed songs that popular music has ever produced. Although it appears to chronicle the course of rock ‘n roll, it is not a mere catalogue of musical events. In using the cast of rock ‘n roll players from the 1960s and putting them against the backdrop of Buddy Holly’s death, they become polarized – metaphors for the clash of values occurring in America at this time. Holly is used as the symbol of the happier innocence of the fifties and the rest are representative of the growing unrest and fragmentation of the 60s.

The show takes it one step further by progressing through to the 1990s and is led by an Elvis-impersonator, played by Brandon Auret of Isidingo fame. He pays tribute to his favourite artists like Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, Freddie Mercury, Michael Hutchence, John Lennon and The King himself while legends of the fairer sex are represented by Dusty Springfield, Karen Carpenter and Janis Joplin to name a few.

Featuring a nine-piece cast of talented musicians and singers, Forever Young brings musical heroes to life with verve and flamboyance. Performing along with Brandon Auret is his fiancée Lee Heckrath on female vocals and Hendrik Mochudi on male vocals. The band comprises musical directors Barry and Calli Thomson on guitars and keyboards respectively, Malli Sewell on drums, Joe van der Linden on bass guitar and new-comer to The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway, Matthew Boon on saxophone.

Forever Young pays tribute to evergreen hits like American Pie, Fever, Only The Lonely, Chantilly Lace and Suspicious Minds before moving on to more modern numbers such as No Woman No Cry, Imagine, Never Tear Us Apart, Light My Fire and Who Wants To Live Forever.

Tickets R80 per person with Buy One Get One Free promotions on all Tuesday night and Sunday matinee shows. Booking and enquiries through The Barnyard Theatre on 031 566 3045, e-mail: barngate@mweb.co.za or visit www.barnyardtheatre.co.za




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