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IN THE MOOD (article first published : 2005-07-12)

The world’s love affair with swing music continues. Rod Stewart recently won his first Grammy for the album American Songbook II and the likes of Michael Bublé and Jamie Callum have celebrated this genre of music in its pure form and with quirky reinterpretation.

The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway is getting In The Mood from July 12 to August 7 by paying tribute to the classics, although audiences can expect a few surprises. It’s an entirely Durban initiative as Debbie Davidson (co-owner of The Barnyard) and musical whiz Evan Roberts have collaborated to bring this magical era to life with an intimate 11-piece band with four vocalists whose costumes will be styled by local designer Terrence Bray.

The Gateway venue has, for a long time, been working towards a show which showcases Durban talent. In The Mood was identified as the ideal show with the depth of musical and vocal talent available locally, and both Davidson and Roberts are thrilled with the results.

The show will bring swing music into the modern day with updated musical arrangements and costumes that take a contemporary slant on a bygone era. “While In The Mood will offer audiences something different, it will be in keeping with the successful Barnyard show format, and will appeal to all ages,” says Davidson.

Percy Smith returns to the rustic theatre venue with newcomer John Stengel on male vocals, while female powerhouses Crystal Tryon and Nothando Ngubane also make their Barnyard debut on vocals. The band draws on local talent and consists of Evan Roberts on piano and vocals; Shaun Peterson (drums); Bongani Sokhela (bass); Tom Hare (saxophone, trumpet and flute); Colin Mairs (saxophone and clarinet); Mario Monteregge (trombone) and Alistair McDonald (trumpet).

In The Mood sees the old swing anthems of artists (think Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington) given a blast of fresh air with contemporary arrangements. Old favourites include Mack the Knife, Mr Bojangles, Summertime, My Baby Just Cares For Me and a Frank Sinatra medley while a spontaneous “challenge the band” segment encourages audience participation.

Tickets R85 (Buy One Get One Free on Tuesday night and Sunday matinee shows). Bookings and enquiries on 031 566 3045, e-mail gateway@barnyardtheatre.co.za

For more information visit www.barnyardtheatre.co.za




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