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BORN TO DIVA (article first published : 2004-03-22)

Well-known and popular singer, diminutive Tonya Koenderman with the powerful voice, appears at the Rhumbelow Theatre at the beginning of April with her one-woman show, Born to Diva, a follow-up to her previous show, Divas to a T.

Describing a “diva” as “slightly eccentric, slightly over the top, and ever so slightly melodramatic", Tonya is one of the few performers able to recapture the power and sheer drama of the great belters. With long-time friend Lisa Bobbert on board as director, the show is pleasing on the eye and the ear.

Born to Diva promises a musical feast with gorgeous, slightly revealing costumes. Established divas are featured such as Shirley Bassey, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, and Tina Turner, as well as some of the up and coming divas - Jennifer Lopez and Nora Jones, to name a few. In true diva style, Tonya adds her own saucy touch to classics like Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Nobody Does it Like Me, Pata Pata, Simply the Best, Proud Mary, All That Jazz and no Tonya Koenderman programme would be complete without New York New York!

After 14 years in show business, Tonya continues to wow audiences both locally and abroad. She started her career fresh out of drama school with Kevin Feather's cabaret, The Dooh Wah Girls, in 1990 which ran intermittently for four years. Other cabarets under her belt are We 3 with Gordon Mulholland and Paul Andrews, as well as the Cape Town hits, Juke is King, Jive to the Juke and Wurlitzer. More recently she has teamed up with fellow singer, Anne-Marie Clulow, to create All of Woman and Shake Your Bootie and both shows have performed to packed houses throughout South Africa.

Tonya performed in the look-alike, sound-alike show, Stars in your Eyes, which ran for two seasons at the Carousel. She has worked extensively for Sun International in extravaganzas such as Jump, Shout, Bop and Boogie. She later starred in Skin Tight and Ooh La Lah, both devised and directed by Bryan Bester.

She was the only local artist to star in the Sun City sensation, Beyond Belief, which ran for 16 months at the Sun City Extravaganza. She has worked at Caesar's casino as the guest artist in the dance extravaganzas, Dazzle as well as Celebrate, both directed by Billy Hogg and Amber Baty.

Shows take place on April 2 and 3 at 20h00 and on April 4 at 18h30. The venue opens 90 minutes before show for picnic dinner. Tickets R50. Take along food picnic baskets and braais will be available. There is limited secure parking and booking is essential. A cash bar is available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises). Rhumbelow Theatre is situated in Cunningham Avenue off Bartle Road.

To book contact Roland on 031 205 7602 (h) or 082 499 8636, or email roland@stansell.za.net




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