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SILVER LININGS SONGBOOK BRINGS SILVER LINING TO A SPECIAL FAMILY

ONE DAY ONLY … ONE STAGE … ALL STAR CAST … SA’S TOP PERFORMERS … JONATHAN ROXMOUTH … TIMOTHY MOLOI … BRYAN SCHIMMEL … ILSE KLINK … and many more!

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
― Shannon L. Alder

The Sakellarides/ Devar family are an integral part of the theatre community. Theatre makers, supporters and the like are familiar with this talented unit, and those who have had the fortune of personally becoming a part of their lives, or even briefly interacting with them, all agree unanimously that this family are the warmest, kindest, most generous bunch of people, in an industry that is often extremely cruel.

Over the past few years, the family were faced with the misfortune of Nik Sakellarides falling very ill and ending up in intensive care on two lengthy, different occasions.

This was a very dark time for Brenda Sakellarides who managed to pull through, and with Nik’s strong recovery finally saw the light of day, despite the emotional and financial strain.

But just when life started normalising, another devastating bit of news came to the fore: their 16 year old son Ziya Devar was diagnosed with aggressive Ulcerative Colitis.

Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract. It affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. It can be debilitating, sometimes leading to life-threatening complications. While it has no known cure, treatment can greatly reduce signs and symptoms of the disease, even bringing about long-term remission.

About two and a half months ago, Nik took to Facebook, asking the Theatre/ Entertainment Community and beyond to please assist Brenda and the family with any donations they could contribute towards the increasingly exhorbitant medical costs for Ziya’s recovery.

This sparked Owen Lonzar’s idea to produce a show with some of the biggest names in the theatre industry, to raise money so that young Ziya and his family can fight this illness without worrying about the financial burden placed on them.

Lonzar explains: “There are genuinely very few good people in the world, who are always willing to help others. Brenda and Nik are always willing to help others. They are very special people, so I thought I need to do this. It’s also great because the community are involved. We don’t always have the money to give in this industry, so at least if these artists can perform, other people can buy tickets. It’s also important to be actively involved. We have a small community and we need to be able to look after each other, and this is one way that we can.”

Caitlin Clerk came on board to assist with administrative detail, and a wonderful night of music, musical theatre, talent and of course, community and giving has been organised to entertain audiences, but more importantly to raise money for Ziya’s recovery.

Silver Linings Songbook takes place on Sunday, 24 June 2018 at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square at 18h30. As this show sold out so quickly, an additional matinee has been added at 15h30!

Tickets cost just R200 each!

Never again and nowhere else will you get the opportunity to see such a fabulous lineup of South Africa’s top theatre talent performing on one stage, for a bargain price like this!

Can’t make it but still want to participate? Call the theatre on (011) 883-8606 and ask for a ‘ghost ticket’ … they’ll know what you’re talking about! 

Bookings through computicket.com or call (011) 883-8606. If you can, try and go to to a Computicket kiosk and pay cash – they’ve been tremendously awesome and waivered their fee for the show if you do this!!! 

Not only will you be helping others in need, but the line up of performers boasts some of the best talent in the country. This includes Jonathan Roxmouth, Timothy Moloi, Angela Killian, Sylvaine Strike, Ilse Klink, Bryan Schimmel (piano solo), Itu Sings, Kiruna – Lind Devar, Noni Mkhonto, Judy Ditchfield, Dolly Louw, Andrea Shine, Natasha van der Merwe, Caitlin Clerk, Nqobile Sipamla, Tonya Koenderman, Hayley Christian Francis, Luciano Zuppa, Dennis East, Claire Taylor and Toni Morkel.

Special Appearance from Kate Monster (aka Ashleigh Harvey) from Avenue Q, and Malcolm Terrey will be MCing the event.

A huge thank you to Daphne Kuhn for the use of the Auto & General Theatre on the Square, and to all the artists and crew involved in the giving of their time for such an important cause.

Book now for Silver Linings Songbook on Sunday, 24 June 2018 at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square.

 

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Come on over to where it’s GREENer!

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It has been an incredibly wet week in Johannesburg due to the heavy rains and it looks like it won’t clear up by next weekend.

Due to the increased rain, the organisers of the The Annual Green Craft Beer Festival and Beer Pong Event, have decided to postpone the event to another weekend, to avoid any last minute cancellations and disappointments.

Dax Menday, the co-owner of The Green.Live explains, “Weather reports state that the rainfall will continue next week. Gilloolys Farm is already soaked to the ground and with threats of 3 inch rain next weekend, we would rather not risk cancelling the event at the last minute. We will be holding the event on another confirmed date, and in the meantime people will get refunds for any tickets purchased. As much as we love the rain, beer and rain don’t go too well together.”

Although this major event will be moved to another date, yet to be confirmed, The Green.Live have decided to hold a mini event at The Green at the Modderfontein Golf Course, at 1 Centenary Road, Modderfontein on the day, Saturday 4 March 2017 at 15h00.

There will be live music with Trevor Rebello, Justin Serrao and Bad Peter,  and the Craft Beer Breweries Darling and Stimela will also be on sale.

Tickets can be purchased at the venue on the day at R50 each.

All ticket winners for the Main Craft Beer Festival, are welcome to attend the event for free.

For refunds, people can email info@nutickets.co.za

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The Green – Modderfontein

It’s immediately obvious on meeting festival co-organiser Dax Menday, that he’s an incredible people person, someone who likes nothing better than to bring people together to enjoy a great time. He had a very clear vision of how he wanted to do this, and in 2015, he and his partner approached the Benoni Country Club and asked them if they could open a bar on their Rooftop. Hmmmm … not quite in keeping with the staid culture of country club living, but Dax was determined – young people were looking somewhere to go that provided a certain type of vibe that wasn’t yet being catered for in their area. The craft and artisanal types of eateries and pubs were starting to become popular,  and why should they have to travel for miles to find places that appealed to them? Benoni deserved its own! And in October of that year The Green was opened in a 20 meter adapted container on the rooftop of the Benoni Country Club overlooking the golf course (the green … get it??)! 7 meters of the container is the actual bar.

In December of 2016 Dax successfully opened a second bar, The Green Modderfontein. the-green-5Based on the same look and feel as his flagship store, and once again with magnificent views of the golf course, Dax has managed to reproduce the relaxed look and feel that he created in Benoni. With 12 Craft Beers on tap, and at least 40 other, mainly South African, bottled varieties on offer at any given time, he’s going out of his way to ensure that The Green is a Craft Bar offers something for everyone. His food truck style kitchens create a limited menu of fabulous, fresh fare for when you’re a bit peckish! Go and take a look at http://www.thegreen.co.za/food/ to see what’s on offer or visit the Facebook page

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When I actually took a look at all that was on offer I was completely bamboozled to say the least! So … for those of you who are about as knowledgeable as I was about the whole craft beer culture, here’s a brief nutshell description: Basically, it’s tailor-made, hand-crafted beer, made in different varieties, with a master brewer having a direct hand in its creation. It gained momentum in the States approximately 8-10 years ago. Anyone who has the

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Alcoholic iced tea!

know-how can get some investors in their corner, buy their equipment and start the magical creation process! The beauty of craft beer creation is that you can continue to refine your process all the time. There’s also an amazing variety of craft gins making a name for themselves, and interestingly, you can get alcoholic iced tea on tap too!

Dax patiently guided this very green craft beer novice through the ins and outs of what it takes to create this popular drink in all its variations! This included feeding me Craft Beer … at 10.15 in the morning! As he happily claimed “It’s after 10!” I learnt that there are different types of beers: Lager, Native or Red Ale, Pale Ale, which is more bitter, has more hops in it and has a fruitier taste, and finally Weiss Beer, which is wheat beer, even more bitter than the Pale Ale and usually unfiltered. I hope I got all of that right! (Any mistakes are my own, certainly not from Dax!)

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The 4 different varieties of Craft Beer – and I confess, I can’t remember which is which!! I’m obviously better at drinking the stuff than I am at learning about it!!!

The idea for The Green.LIVE Festival was to bring the festival spirit to the East, as so many of these festivals are being held in the North. Dax’s intention is to solidify the Craft Beer culture and introduce new people to it. It’s a daytime festival held between 10:00 and 18:00, with no 13 – 17 year-olds being allowed entry. There will be 7 food vendors each selling unique fare with no crossover at all, so there’ll be something for everyone. Craft Beer, Food, Music … what’s not to like?

And of course, there’s the attempt to break the world Beer Pong record! I’ll admit that mythe-green-7 nearest and dearest threatened to disown me when I admitted to not knowing what this was. (Shock! Horror! Hands were thrown into the air in disbelief!) Well, it’s a game played between 2 people, 5 cups, of approximately 120ml beer in each, arranged in triangular formation per person and a ping pong ball. Each person stands about 2.4 meters away from the table on which the cups are arranged and bounces the ball onto the table. The aim is to get the ball into your opponent’s cup, so that he has to drink from that cup. If you manage to throw the ball into the cups without a bounce, your opponent then has to drink from 2 cups! I can imagine that it’s loads of fun in a crowd and pretty addictive too!

This is all definitely going to be re-scheduled once we have a more positive weather outlook. So make sure you’ve ‘liked’ the Facebook page so you know when it’s all happening.

In the meantime, take a look at this fabulous video of last year’s festival to see what it’s all about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtPDbL_tlKA&t=3s

Thank you Dax for inviting me to your beautiful bar and for taking the time to share all of your abundant knowledge so enthusiastically!

CATCH THE VALENTINES BLUES!

Fall in love with nature, art and the blues in the Cradle of Humankind this Valentine’s Day

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On Sunday, the 12th of February 2017 NIROX Sculpture Park, in association with Caleo Wealth Management, MINI and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, invite you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with that special someone with a collection of South Africa’s finest Blues’ musicians, surrounded by the serene beauty of the NIROX Sculpture Park.
The exciting line up of musicians include:
            – Albert Frost
            – Gerald Clark
            – Ann Jangle
            – Gunshot Blue
            – Tidal Waves
            – Manny Walters
The spectacular surroundings of NIROX Sculpture Park offer an oasis in which to enjoy a day of leisurely romance.
One can also take a romantic walk around this scenic venue to view the beautiful art and sculptures on display.
Delicious, healthy and locally sourced cuisine, courtesy of the Epicurian Emporium – a collective of high-end diverse food traders – will be available for purchase. The curated bar will offer champagne, wines, lavish cocktails and local craft beers for those wishing to toast this special day.
Lovers and friends are invited to enjoy a day of fine food, Blues legends, nature and art.
 Co-producer of the acousticsNOW concert series at NIROX, Lloyd-Anthony Smith is excited to be hosting this event, following the previous 2 successes. I had the opportunity to pose some questions to him.
  1. How did the ‘Valentines Blues’ idea originate?

Our music programme consists of various different genres – folk, jazz, classical, roots, instrumental guitar – and we had always wanted to host a blues concert: thus Valentine’s Blues was born. A celebration of Love and the Blues. Often two closely related topics.
  1. And from there … how long until the actual event came into being?

Due to our now established music programme, once we have a new idea/theme/concept we are generally able to produce the concert easily from there. By way of example we hosted our first ever opera at NIROX Sculpture Park last month; Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ was performed in our outdoor amphitheatre.
  1. How did you go about finding such a beautiful, perfect venue?

I see NIROX as a great gift to the World. The Foundation exists to foster the arts and hosts various sculptors, painters, poets, photographers, dancers, musicians, etc from all corners of the globe. NIROX Sculpture Park is a curated space of undulating lawns, meandering waterways and dams and large-scale contemporary sculpture neatly nestled in the Cradle of Humankind.
  1. Why Blues? Why not Jazz … many would argue that it’s just as romantic?

Apart from already having a successful springtime jazz concert ‘Jazz in the Cradle’, Love and the Blues are often entangled in each other. But all musical genres carry a degree of romanticism.
  1. How do you source your participating musicians, or do they request participation?

We look to foster young musicians who we believe should be given the opportunity to perform to a discerning audience. Added to that we also host more seasoned professionals but encourage/challenge them to perform in different formats to their usual set-ups. This balance sets the tone and flow for the day.
  1. Any plans to do ‘Valentines Blues’ in any other cities?

Valentine’s Blues has its home at NIROX…
  1. Why in Joburg? (Not that we’re complaining AT all!!!)

Thanks entirely to the pristine surroundings of NIROX Sculpture Park in the and the Foundation’s kindness in allowing us to host this programme on their premises.
  1. What can people expect when they come to this year’s event if they’ve never been before?

Guests can look forward to a glorious day of Music, Food, Art & Nature in the  Cradle of Humankind. Gates open at 10h00 with the music programme commencing at 11h00. Epic festival cuisine will be on offer courtesy of the Epicurean Emporium, as well as other accoutrement including champagne, cocktails, a Bombay Sapphire gin & tonic bar, oysters, desserts, artisan ice-cream, coffees, etc. The festivities conclude around sunset.
  1. And if those attending have attended either of the previous 2 Valentines Blues events, are there any surprises in store? Anything new on the program?

Somewhat ambitiously we are hosting NIROX’s largest-ever artists residency in the preamble to the concert. We have invited the entire line-up to stay at NIROX for the 2 days preceding the concert for a chance for the artists to engage, collaborate and rehearse for Sunday.
In addition, we have invited additional instrumentalist to supplement each set by way of cello, flute, saxophone, harmonica, keys, bass, lapsteel slide guitar and voice to create an entirely unique production.
  1. What’s the over-riding message you’re trying to convey with your event?

The event is first and foremost a showcase of the invited artists. This access to the arts, coupled with a beautiful natural environment and curated food and beverage selections, creates a space for guests to enjoy and engage in the experience.

 

What you’ll need to know:
Gates open at 10h00.
Tickets are available for online pre-sale from www.acousticsnow.org at R330.
Tickets for sale at the gate at R360 – subject to availability.
Kindly note no food or drinks allowed on the premises, these may be bought on site.
Bring a picnic blanket for your comfort and allow NIROX Sculture Park to host you and your special person.
Attendance is restricted. Right of admission reserved.
Tickets for children under 12 are R165 online and R180 at the gate.
Infants aged 2 and under enter free of charge.
(While children are welcome, parents are required to ensure that they do not disturb the performance).

PLAY CLUB INVITES YOU TO COME AND PLAY!

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SO … WHAT IS PLAY CLUB?

IT’S A GRASSROOTS POP-UP THEATRE INITIATIVE TO BUILD COMMUNITY IN AND AROUND THE ARTS INDUSTRY.

aka: Our Story

Who doesn’t love a good story? It moves us. It challenges us. It drives us. It gives us hope. It inspires us. And theatre-people can tell a GREAT story.

Enter: US!

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Photo from Play Club’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, 2012 – Cape Town

Play Club was founded in Cape Town in 2012 by American-born producer and director, Drew Bakker. To say that Drew is passionate about theatre, music and all it encompasses would be an understatement, but even more so, his enthusiasm for sharing his love of the industry with others is infectious. Hence his creation of a community that comes together to interact and inspire, creating vision and inspiration amongst like-minded people both within the theatre industry, and with those who share common interests.

Since Play Club’s beginnings, we’ve gone on to bring together over 1,000 (and counting) top actors from stage and screen, directors, producers, coaches, professors, drama students, reviewers, bloggers, theatre-lovers and general creative people, birthing a varsity group, live podcasting world-wide, CONNECT Stage+Screen Magazine (and its’ current incarnation: PROMPT Magazine), two peer theatre awards, hosting 40 industry play readings (and counting!), most making their South African debuts, an All-Star Charity reading of STEEL MAGNOLIAS as well as three All-Star Readings of THE AUDIENCE, introducing our newest city, Durban, to join Johannesburg and Cape Town, all creating our very own version of Inside The Actor’s Studio. We’ve been interviewed and featured in the Cape Times, BroadwayWorld South Africa, Fine Music Radio, Glitter Toast Blog amongst others.

Our pop-up venues have appeared across the Mother City at Alexander Bar, Sanders South Africa (in a gorgeous living room showroom big enough for the 100+ that attended) and in numerous living rooms across Joburg and Cape Town. We have been in residence at Miao in the heart of the de Waterkant and are currently home at Redhill School in Sandton and ACT Cape Town in the heart of the CBD.

From a monthly Play Club, we saw the birth of bi-weekly Play Club (a mainstage title followed by an indie title) and the bi-weekly Film Club with an all-star international panel. We also brought in the monthly New York piano-bar cabaret, featuring stars from the stage in an informal concert, Parlo(u)r Songs. A highlight was Drew’s Barely Legal Showtunes, showcasing 13 of the best up-and-coming musical theatre actors 25 and under, quickly selling out and adding a second performance to meet the standing-room only demand.

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Cape Town Play Club tends to be rather laid back! 🙂

All of this was with a simple drive: inspire community.

Our story of inclusiveness, hope, opening dialogue and breaking down walls continues now in our fifth year, a home for artists, waiting with a spot just for YOU. Many have likened us to “church”, a recharge with other creative folks and a place to fall back in love with what you fell in love with to begin with.

“Inspiring community” isn’t just a catchy tag-line (if we say so ourselves). It’s the very core of why we do what we do: to inspire people to come together, but also to be a lighthouse of inspiration within that community.
Are you an actor looking to dive into cold-reading great new material and to play?
A drama student wanting to learn how leaders of the industry approach a script for the first time?
A theatre-lover that wants to have a completely new experience, seeing a play from the ground up?

There’s a place waiting for you! Come and play. Leave the driving to us: enjoy the ride.

Enter: YOU!

Our celebrity Play Club reading of THE AUDIENCE is happening in Joburg and Cape Town on 30 January 2017, and in Durban on 29 January 2017 …

 What are you waiting for? RSVP and check it out for yourself!

 RECENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

IS IT JUST FOR MEMBERS? Play Club is open to everyone and anyone that loves the arts. It’s a playground for actors, directors, designers, creative folks, book lovers, theatre lovers and everyone in between. If you join us regularly, join us and save R20 a Play Club!

I HAVE A QUESTION. CAN I CALL SOMEONE? Of course! Our contact details are at the bottom of our website.

IS THIS COMING TO (insert city here)? Each city will be essentially reading the same play and the structure of the evening will be the same, but, between the actors and the people that attend, each Play Club is completely different to the one before it. It makes it super special and super unique to where you attend. But to answer the question, it’s a very special one-night-only event!

IS IT A PLAY? IS IT ON STAGE? Part of the magic of doing a show is the first time a cast gets together, sits around a table and tears apart the script you’re about to live for the next season of your career. Your English Lit class reading of OTHELLO this is definitely NOT. For this, you’re a fly-on-the-wall, reading along with some of South Africa’s finest actors and you get to see a brand new play as it would be approached from the “ground up”. If you’re a theatre-goer, it’s a completely different and wonderful experience to see a play deconstructed. And to anyone else, it’s a chance to watch artists get to play. Afterwards, we open the floor to a great talkback about the piece, the process and whatever else comes up.

WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?! For us, we are driven by community and inspiring dialogue amongst theatre-makers and theatre-goers, as well as creating a platform to inspire the arts community. The play is just a means of bringing us together. Come to network, come to meet other crazy creative folks or just come to experience a play that is unlikely to hit our shores anytime soon. There’s something for everyone!

HOW MUCH IS IT? We’re a not-for-profit community initiative and work off suggested donations to cover our expenses. R50 is the suggested donation for general public, with Play Club Members, SAGA Members ad Students at a suggested R30. We’ll have someone at the door when you arrive. Cash is great. We also have SnapScan.

CAN I UPDATE MY RSVP? Yep! Just re-enter your email details and it’ll pull up your existing reservation that you can update. Please let us know if anything changes, should someone on the waiting list be able to join us.

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The stunning setting for our Joburg reading of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – July 2016

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