A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

supper theatre
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

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

REGGIE LEARNS TO ROCK (article first published : 2000-03-17)

Reggie Learns to Rock starts with the screen at the back of the stage blazoning newspaper headlines which trumpet “Gay couple adopts coloured child”. The child is Reggie (Arnie Field). His ageing parents, who only appear in film clips, are an outrageously camp Peter Court and a mincing Aaron McIlroy. Attended by their well-endowed manservant (Ben Voss), they raise most of the laughs in this new supper theatre show from Macbob Productions, (Lisa Bobbert and Aaron McIlroy), at the popular Langoustine Theatre by the Sea in Durban North.

There’s a lot of pink, mauve and lilac – pink curtains, pink and mauve lights, lilac feather trim, lilac sequins, tinsel hair bands and silver boots. Certainly not a range of designs that would make Vogue magazine. Even the lighting goes through pink and purple stages!

The accent is over-the-top, loud and brash performance – along the lines of shows like Sex, Bugs and Rock ‘n Roll, Abba Maniacs and the Revenge of the Pink Panties - all highly successful productions from the Macbob stable. The only thing that isn’t overt is the use of the smoke machine which is nicely controlled.

The show loosely hangs on the fact that Reggie has written most of the world’s top pop numbers. Why isn’t he famous? Because “they” (the pop stars and songwriters) all pinch his songs, in fact the record companies monitor his every moment. Although he didn’t start off in his usual confident fashion, Arnie Field warms to his performance as Reggie who gradually upstages his two female counterparts Clara and Mathilda – his “step cousins – twice removed” in Oh! What a Night!. Wearing the first of a succession of wild Afro-wigs, he blames his lack of success with women on his unusual family situation, firmly asserting “I’m not gay. Just off-white”.

Kate Bruce is on good form as the dominant character (Clara) trying to keep her sister under control. Mathilda (Liesl Coppin) is – well, not bright. She’s just wants to sing and party and is hooked on David Hasselhoff, Reggie is hung up on Streisand. Just when you settle back to enjoy Liesl Coppin’s introduction to You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, the action goes back to comic brashness as the other two take over the song and re-word it as You Don’t Smell Like Flowers Any More.

Every now and again, numbers are treated with due respect and notably these were You Needed Me, Shake Your Groove Thing, Don’t Stop, Rivers of Babylon, Ma Baker and Still the One.

On opening night, it was evident that the show could have done with a couple more “run-ins” before it was thrown to the wolves (the media), as it were! Frenetic and unco-ordinated, it appeared to exist on three levels – the songs, the audiovisual and the story – with no comfortable connecting process from one to the other. But, given the expertise of the performers, no doubt it will settle down and pull in the audiences.

As always, the Langoustine food is good and the portions are generous. For starters, there’s Seafood Vol au Vent (too much sauce for my taste), a light and attractive Chicken and Pineapple Cocktail or Greek Salad. On the main menu, there’s Linefish Mediterranean Style, a very tender Crumbed Chicken Breast served on a light cheese sauce, Lamb Curry Madras Style or Panzerotti in a Sundried Tomato Napolitana Sauce. For dessert, there’s Fresh Fruit Salad and Ice Cream or Bread and Butter Pudding.

Reggie Learns to Rock runs at the Langoustine until April 30. Tickets at R100 cover the show and the three-course meal. Bookings can be made via the Langoustine on (031) 563-7324 or at Computicket.

Lisa and Aaron are an extremely hard-working team and therefore it is distressing to hear that while they were at the Langoustine on opening night, burglars entered their home where their maid Lucy Xulu was looking after their two-year old child Kaylee. Alerted to the fact that someone was in the house, she grabbed Kaylee and ran into the garden to warn the neighbours. Not only did the burglars steal household appliances but also all the equipment in Lisa and Aaron’s portable sound studio. (A comprehensive list will be posted onto the Music page in case anybody in the entertainment business is offered these products). This is a devastating loss that is incalculable because, on top of the replacement value of the equipment must be added loss of earnings and extra hiring fees for alternative equipment. A double stress for Lisa is that she is five months pregnant with their second child.




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart