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RED HOT & BLUE (article first published : 2004-04-26)

Karen Van Pletsen and her musical director Evan Roberts present their sassy, sentimental solo cabaret that explores the melancholy, risqué and simply beautiful Blues at Rhumbelow Theatre from May 7 to 9.

The show pays homage to artists such as Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton and Janis Joplin.

Well-known as one of South Africa’sis one of South Africa’s best-loved stage and recording stars and an established Durban audience, Karen Ann Van Pletsen has appeared in Durban in several major musical productions, including Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, Elton, Concert Fever, Yesterday, and more recently in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She also performed in the critically-acclaimed Lady Sings the Blues which she co-devised and starred in with a five-man virtuoso backing line-up led by Evan Roberts).

Other significant engagements have included her commissioned work for the Women’s Arts Festival in Durban, several guest appearances with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in its popular Sunset Proms and Music at the Lake series, numerous corporate performances, and a number of guest appearances with Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company.

A popular figure on Durban’s jazz circuit and a busy recording artist, Karen spent a number of seasons as a contract cabaret artist in Dubai where she was invited, along with her band The Dubai Jazz Quartet, to sing at the inaugural Katmandu Jazz Festival. She returned to Durban in 2003 to take the star role of Bathsheba Everdene in the world premiere staging of Far From the Madding Crowd – The Musical at The Playhouse.

Karen’s electic command of repertoire and her strongly distinctive vocal personality put their recognizable stamp on her encounters with musical theatre, jazz and contemporary genres. As noted for her extensive vocal range and versatility as for her potent audience impact, this versatile repertoire artist is also a classically trained pianist and has composed several memorable compositions for her own performances, among them the touching Gecko Moon (soon be released on her forthcoming CD, Old, New Borrow’d & Blue.

Performances take place on May 7 and 8 at 20h00 and on May 9 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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