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.

LIFE IS A CABARET! (article first published : 2005-09-30)

Who better to handle the wonderful works of John Kander and Fred Ebb than Carol Trench, Anthony Stonier and Evan Roberts? Three of Durbanís most popular performers, their combined musicality is impressive when they perform some of the finest cabaret numbers ever written. This makes for a highly enjoyable evening at the Heritage Theatre in Hillcrest.

Life is a Cabaret pays tribute to the art form of cabaret in its traditional and time-honoured style. Kander and Ebb brought the world unforgettable shows such as Cabaret, Chicago, New York New York and Zorba. Their songs require a strong dramatic ability from the people who perform them and this cast passes the test with flying colours.

The programme includes showstoppers such as Razzle Dazzle; All That Jazz; Maybe This Time; Nowadays and New York New York. Along with the familiar songs are some equal delights such as the lesser-known Arthur in the Afternoon, The Apple doesnít Fall Very Far from the Tree and Coffee in a Cardboard Cup.

Clare Mortimerís direction is clean and efficient and there is much effective stage business while Janet Hareís choreography adds a further dimension to this fast-moving production. The singers are dressed elegantly, in keeping with the plush deep red theme which is complemented by the lighting.

At the piano is musical director Evan Roberts who gives a beautiful rendering of Mister Cellophane. He is well supported by the inimitable Tom Hare on trumpet, saxophone and flute. John Stengel is on bass Ė we only have the pleasure of hearing him sing once in a verse of an amusing opening to New York New York - and Bruce Baker is on drums.

Anthony Stonierís hundreds of fans will not be disappointed. Heís elegant, articulate and in good voice, as always, giving his all to numbers such as Wilkomen, City Lights and World Goes Round. Heís an excellent foil for his co-star and they do some nifty footwork in some of the songs.

Carol Trench has grown into a world class entertainer. Her version of Class has to be the finest Iíve heard, sung with humour and pathos. She was in complete control of her microphone, knowing how much or how little to give without relying on the sound desk. Another favourite was her sensitive rendering of Colouring Book. Utterly adorable at times and at others sassy, sexy or brash, Carol is a generous performer and this was shown to the full in Ring Them Bells.

I found the amplification way too loud. The venue doesnít need it and it detracts from the magic of the performance when you become sidetracked to register that itís too loud. Take it down, please! The Heritage isnít the Playhouse Opera!

Life is a Cabaret runs at the Heritage Theatre, Hillcrest, until October 30. Tickets R150 for the show and a two-course meal with an ŗ la carte pudding menu (R120 Tuesday night and Sunday lunchtime shows). This time I chose the Smoked Salmon starter which is a smallish portion while the other choices are a soup and a button mushroom salad. I opted for the Lamb Shank which I enjoyed, with the other main courses being a curry; Seafood Creole and Lentil and Pumpkin Baboti. There is an a la carte dessert menu.

Tickets for show only are R75. For bookings call 031 765 4197 or Computicket. Ė Caroline Smart




 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