Live Shows

Under the Spell of a Guitar Wizard!

Guitar-Wizards

Move over Harry Potter! There’s a new wizard in town … a Guitar Wizard!

When Marcin Patrzalek was 10 years old, his father decided he needed to take up some sort of extra-curricular activity. He hadn’t shown much proficiency for sport up to that point, so when his dad bumped into an old friend one day in a tennis store, who just happened to be a guitar teacher, inspiration struck! Marcin could learn to play the guitar! Only one problem: this friend of his dad’s really didn’t like kids and refused to teach him! However, he did refer him to a fellow teacher, and the rest (as they say) is history.

Marcin tells me that he has always loved ‘sound’ – not actual music, but sounds themselves. When he was a child, he used to play with toys, as any child does, but he remained completely silent while doing so, all the time imagining in his head the sounds they were making. Apparently, adults found this somewhat disturbing!

So he initially took up classical guitar lessons, just for a starter course of 10 days. His teacher immediately recognised that here was someone, regardless of his young age, who possessed a gift. There was no doubt that after those initial 10 days were up, Marcin would continue learning to play the guitar and after just 3 months of lessons, he won his first competition.

Although he had no formal music schedule, it was evident that music came naturally to Marcin. He thoroughly enjoyed it, and it quickly became part of his daily routine. By the age of 12 he discovered Flamenco. He was fortunate to meet Professor Carlos Pinana when he visited Poland and attended his workshops after which Pinana proposed that he would continue to teach Marcin through Skype!

Marcin emphasises that both his teachers were extremely strict. He tells me that his Classical teacher, in particular, was very eccentric and an absolute perfectionist. I asked how he’d felt when Marcin started to branch out from the Classical style that he’d started with, experimenting with new and different styles of music. He tells me that initially his teacher was quite upset but that eventually he has come around to a grudging acceptance of the music Marcin plays now. The two remain exceptionally close, and Marcin tells me how important it is to stay close to your roots in order to know where you’ve come from.

When he was 14, Marcin played in the biggest music show in Poland – ‘Must Be The Music’. He selected a well-known piece called ‘Asturius’, however he had created his own experimental (and controversial) arrangement. And he won!

Marcin_Patrzalek_3

Well after that he became even more motivated – if that was even possible, because he came across as highly self-motivated before this! He didn’t have an acoustic guitar teacher so the Internet became the best teacher he had. He already had good knowledge of theory and sheet music, thanks to his excellent grounding from his Classical guitar teacher, and he started composing and arranging his own pieces.

In 2016 Marcin released his first album – ‘Hush’. If you want to know the story behind the name, you absolutely have to go to one of his shows. Info on his remaining SA shows is at the end of this post, so keep reading! (Pretoria and Cape Town – you’re in for a treat. If you haven’t booked tickets you’re going to kick yourselves! AND NOW – DUE TO PUBLIC DEMAND – AN EXTRA SHOW IN PRETORIA ON 8 MARCH AT 5.30pm!! )

In 2017 he released ‘Toxicity’ – it went out on Marcin’s Facebook page and went viral! Literally millions viewed it. Incidentally, to date, Marcin has amassed 80 million YouTube views! Yup, you read that right … EIGHTY MILLION!!

An endorsement from Ibanez, the 2nd largest guitar brand in the world soon followed, and the doors just kept opening: invitations to perform overseas started arriving, and the world beckoned! In December 2018 Marcin was invited to participate in ‘Italy’s Got Talent’ – all thanks to one of the producers seeing his video online, which resulted in this invitation. Initially, Marcin assumed he’d just be a guest performer on the show, but when he arrived he discovered he’d actually be competing! He played his arrangement of Beethoven’s 5th live, for the first time … and got a Golden Pass from his audition to the final! He went on to win the competition!

I need to emphasise here, that Marcin tells me all of this with the utmost of humility. He is a truly modest, extremely unpretentious young man who is mature way beyond his years. Again, you need to go to his show to witness the easy way he interacts with his audience – not brash, not over-confident – just easy-going and so, so likeable. He good-naturedly shrugs off my questions about how he feels about being described as a ‘prodigy’ and a ‘whizz-kid’. His response being that people can call it what they like, but he’s just going out there and doing what he loves.

All this is undoubtedly thanks to his grounded family life. He has an older brother of 25, and although there’s a bit of an age difference, he’s very involved and supportive in all that Marcin does. His parents travel with him, and he tells me that the credo he lives by is one that his father (who acts as his manager/agent) has given him: “Go out there and play the best you can. Don’t pay attention to what people say.” He firmly believes that you shouldn’t get caught up in all your hype, and he doesn’t think of himself in any different way, other than as just himself. In fact, he says, he doesn’t think of himself much at all – he thinks mainly of his music!

Marcin tells me that he’s lucky to go to one of the best schools in Poland and that they support him in every way, especially when it comes to all his travelling and spending time away from the classroom. He admits he’s a bit nervous about his final school exams that are coming up in May – the equivalent of our South African matric. “And then?” I want to know.

Marcin’s already been accepted to the Berkley College of Music in the USA. He’s deferred his entry to 2020 as he wants to concentrate of composing and arranging for the release of a new album and says that he wants to make the most of all the opportunities that are available to him now. He feels that he’s been spending 6-7 hours in school every day, and come May, he’s super-excited to be able to get so much more free time to play his music.

He wants to experiment with playing electronic music live with a guitar which has never been done before, and he is focused on “BREAKING THE MAINSTREAM” – maybe he’ll even play with an orchestra! He likes the sound of that idea. But he firmly believes that he, and all of us need to remain focussed on our goals and doing what we can to achieve them.

Marcin is thrilled to be in South Africa and has thoroughly enjoyed the response he’s received to his Joburg shows. He can’t wait to entertain Pretoria and Cape Town audiences and is especially excited about performing in an open-air amphitheatre! Make sure you’ve got your tickets!

GUITAR WIZARDS is a concept created by Corneille Hutten of the award-winning international, but proudly South African, Guitar Duo CH2 (the other half of the duo being Dirkie van Staden). They fuse various guitar styles from Flamenco to Finger-style Guitar playing – with great precision on acoustic guitars. This series of concerts promises to be an eclectic lab of creativity; saluting the sounds of Acoustic Guitar virtuosity.

CH2 has been top of the musical ladder for the past eighteen years in South Africa. Winning multiple SAMA and Ghoema Awards, they have produced 11 albums, including the best-selling and Grammy entry “PING” and their most recent offering “Insomnia – The Chapel Master.”

With their flawless, effortless technique and pulsating rhythms, they showcase what can be done on only two classical guitars, and create an exciting instrumental pop sound whilst mimicking drum sounds and bass guitar all at the same time. CH2 has truly developed their own style unique to the band and continues to blow people away with their virtuosity. The members of CH2 keep challenging themselves with new techniques every day and see themselves as pioneers of the classical guitar, pushing the instrument into genres it is not known for.

Corneille Hutten & Dirkie van Staden - CH2 1

And now for the really important info … where can you see Marcin and CH2:

Pretoria  

Date: Friday 8 March 2019

Time: 8pm AND NOW, DUE TO PUBLIC DEMAND AN EXTRA SHOW AT 5.30pm

Venue: Atterbury Teater

Booking: http://www.atterburyteater.co.za/

www.itickets.co.za

Cape Town

Date: Saturday 9 March 2019

Time: 8pm

Venue: Paul Cluver Amphitheatre, Elgin

Booking: http://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1484444891

 

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Mango Groove adds extra show to 30th Anniversary Concert

MangoGroove1Real Concerts, in association with M-Net and Hot 91.9FM are proud to announce that due to popular demand and extra Mango Groove 30th Anniversary Concert has been added at the Teatro, Montecasino on Saturday, 9 March, 2019.

In the words of Mango Groove’s lead vocalist, Claire Johnston:

2019 is a big year for us as we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of our very first album, Mango Groove. With this in mind, it seemed right to us that we put on a high production concert that showcases the highlights, memories and moments of that album, as well as performing all the other Mango songs that people have come to know and love through years.”

The Mango Groove album went on to become one of SA’s biggest-selling albums of all time (well over 25-times platinum), and produced a string of hits that to this day remain part of the soundtrack of South Africa’s journey over the last three decades: ‘Special Star’, ‘Dance Some More’, ‘Hellfire’, ‘Move Up’, and many more.

That first album release created the platform for what was to become a meteoric rise to fame for Mango Groove, and it paved the way for a host of achievements that set new precedents and records that still stand today:

  • The successive releases of several more albums and hit singles, including ‘Hometalk’, ‘Moments Away’, ‘Another Country’, ‘Nice to See You’, ‘Bang the Drum’ and their latest album release ‘Faces to the Sun’.
  • Setting new live performance benchmarks for all SA artists, being the only SA group ever to sell out the Sun City Superbowl and the Standard Bank Arena six times each.
  • The band was the first to redefine live staging and production standards for SA acts; the first to command a million rand sponsorship deal, and were the first and only group to remain at the top of the SA national sales charts for over a year.
  • Internationally, Mango Groove’s unique and magical blend of South African marabi, kwela and pop influences, together with the voice and presence of Claire Johnston went on to captivate audiences around the world:

Highlights of their career include:

    • The direct satellite link- up to the Freddie Mercury tribute in London (to an estimated audience of a billion people); their performance in front of 200 000 people at the Paris “SOS Racism” concert; and their performance at the renowned Montreux Jazz festival where the band received 3 encores.
    • From London to Hong Kong, Toronto to Sydney, the band has played to sell- out crowds around the world.
    • Mango Groove was given the honour of being the only South African (indeed African) act to be invited to perform at the ‘Celebrate Hong Kong ‘97’ Reunification Concert.  This historic event, part of the official celebrations commemorating the handover of Hong Kong to China, was televised world-wide and immortalised on a commemorative CD. It was followed up, in fact, by Mango Groove being the only SA act to perform at the globally-televised concert commemorating the handover of Macau to China.
    • Mango Groove was also especially proud to have been associated with the ABC world- wide broadcast of Nelson Mandela’s release where their music was used as the main theme. A few years later they headlined at his inauguration.
    • Mango Groove has long been aware of music’s unique power to change people’s hearts and minds, and through the years the band has raised hundreds of thousands of Rands for issues such as literacy, terminally ill children and conservation.

In founder member John Leyden’s words:

In terms of finding the ideal partner for what is truly a very special event for us, working with Real Concerts again made perfect sense…Serendipity at its best! It was this very partnership that properly launched Mango Groove on a grand scale to SA markets in 1989, and it was a partnership that then powered its way through the host of precedent-setting achievements in the years that followed.”

What can we expect from the show itself, then? In the words of Roddy Quin of Real Concerts:

Yes, the show will be a veritable memory-fest, and it will truly be a joyful celebration of all the Mango songs we have come to love through the years: All of this backed up, of course, with the best possible live production, dancing and performance standards. As importantly, though, it will be a celebration of South African-ness in all its glorious diversity: who we were, our transition, the great ongoing South African journey, who we are today, and what is still so possible for us as a country. This show really will move you in so many different ways.”

Mike Page, GM of Montecasino, says, “Montecasino and the Teatro are thrilled to be hosting such a momentous concert, marking Mango Groove’s 30 amazing years of enchanting South Africans and indeed the world with their very special sound. Montecasino is all about delivering memorable experiences to every visitor – and this event will fit that bill perfectly. We look forward to welcoming the band and the heart-warming and joyful celebration of one of country’s favourite sounds.”

Mango Groove’s 30th Anniversary Concert, The Teatro, Montecasino, Johannesburg:
Friday 8th March – 8pm
Saturday 9th March – 8pm

Tickets Available from Computicket – Bookings now open!

#MangoGroove30

For additional information, please contact:
Real Concerts: real@realsa.co.za 011 482 3550
Mango Groove: www.mangogroove.co.za
Facebook: @RealConcerts

IMG_2144

MEDIA RELEASE: EXTRA JAMES MORRISON JHB CONCERT & LOCAL SUPPORT ACT ANNOUNCED

#jamesmorrisonsa_national_update

The James Morrison SA concerts are just two weeks away and local promoter, Showtime Management is pleased to announce an extra concert on Thursday, 24 January 2019 at Montecasino’s Teatro. Tickets are on sale at Computicket.  Adding local talent to the evening of soulful music is multi-cultural band, the “Stone Jets” who are touring with James Morrison as his supporting act for this singer-songwriter’s first-time performances in this country.

Brought to you by 5FM Legends the three-city concert tour begins at Montecasino’s Teatro with 8pm concerts on Tuesday, 22 January, Wednesday, 23 January and now Thursday, 24 January thereafter moving to Cape Town’s Kirstenbosch Garden for one concert only at 7pm on Saturday, 26 January 2019. Johannesburg concert tickets are on sale at Computicket and Cape Town tickets at Webtickets. With limited tickets still available, fans are encouraged to book soon to avoid disappointment.

Cape Town’s Stone Jets is the result of a musical partnership between bassist and vocalist Given Nkanyane and guitarist Manfred Klose. Five years on, the duo has become a trio with the addition of drummer Eduan Joubert.  Known for their original sound Stone Jets create toe-tapping music, wrapped in soul and traditional elements.

Given and Manfred released their first EP “River” in 2014. The band’s second release, “What I Say” (released in 2016), was preceded with a lyric video for the first single off the EP, “Hurricane”, which critics described as a “lively, foot-tapping summer single”.  Formed in 2013, songs from the trio’s first two EPs have been featured on national television and playlisted on commercial, campus, community radio stations across the country. They’ve played all of South Africa’s major festivals including Oppi Koppi as well as a host of venues such as the V&A Waterfront as they continue to grow their fan base wherever they share their sound.

james morrison - stone jets-jpeg

“I’m looking forward to meeting the Stone Jets and to touring with these local lads. I am super excited to be playing my first gigs in a while in South Africa.  I can’t wait to be on stage in  Johannesburg and Cape Town, not long to go now!” says James Morrison who previously supported both Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder.

The 34-year-old singer-songwriter has sold 7 million copies of his four albums and performed five world tours. This year Morrison is releasing a brand-new album, recorded at British Grove and Metrophonic Studios and produced by Mark Taylor (Lady Gaga, Nelly Furtado, Kylie Minogue).  The album sees the return of James Morrison to his soulful best.

Start counting down the days until James Morrison and the Stone Jets are on stage in Johannesburg and Cape Town brought to you by 5FM Legends. Tickets for the Montecasino concerts are available at Computicket service centres or by calling 083 915 8000 or on line at www.computicket.com.  Tickets for the Cape Town concert are available from Webtickets.  Computicket and Webtickets are the official ticketing partners for James Morrison, and tickets should ONLY be purchased from these ticketing agents. James Morrison – once heard, never forgotten.

____________________________________________________________________

TOUR INFORMATION

Johannesburg:  Montecasino’s Teatro

8pm – Tuesday, 22 January; Wednesday, 23 January; Thursday, 24 January 2019

Cape Town: Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

7pm – Saturday, 26 January 2019

BOOKINGS

Johannesburg: Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000,

visit www.computicket.com or visit your nearest Computicket service centre.

Cape Town only: Webtickets, www.webtickets.co.za

TICKET PRICES:

Johannesburg: R400, R500, R600, R700, R850                                                                                    Cape Town:  R650

MONTECASINO GROUP HOSPITALITY PACKAGES:

(20+ tickets) montecasino.reservations@tsogosun.com or 011 367 4250

 

Via:
showtime management logo

MEDIA RELEASE: Naledi Theatre Awards NEW Modus Operandi for 2019

Naledi Theatre Awards Re-imagined for 2019

naledi awards logoNow entering its 15th year, the Naledi Theatre Awards is the biggest and most prestigious Awards entity to recognise and reward excellence in SA Theatre.

With a new Board of Directors and an influx of almost 50 young, burgeoning and brilliant new judges, plus a new home for the Awards event, the 1000 seat Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein, the Naledi team has been hard at work throughout the holiday season re-imagining and re-structuring its modus operandi.  Here are some snippets from the Board and Executive:

Chairperson, Kgomotso Christopher. “We all share the same passion for the transformation of our country’s performing Arts landscape.  Not only is it imperative to transform our industry but we also strive to recognise and celebrate the world class talent evident right here in South Africa.

Deputy Chairperson, Sello Maake ka Ncube:   “New voices emerge every month telling our unique SA stories with energy and vision never seen on our stages hitherto”.  I am particularly committed to mentoring new practioners of tomorrow.

Chairman of the Judging panel, Award winning actor, writer, radio presenter and drama teacher,  Renos Spanoudes:    “the Naledi Awards holds a mirror to what is happening in our multi-layered and multi-faceted society and reflects the best of writers, choreographers, sets, lighting and sound technicians, as well as fearless and inspired directors guiding performers out of their comfort zones to excite and stimulate audiences from all walks of life!”

Founder of Naledi and CEO, Dawn Lindberg,  gave an overview of the re-structuring of the panel of judges:

“ over 100 professional shows are produced and staged throughout Gauteng each year.  In recognition of an ever growing theatre industry, and our commitment to keep up with this growth, we are expanding our panels and demographics of the judges to ensure we see and adjudicate as much work as possible, produced in any given year. We have therefore created 6 new panels of judges specialising in each of the following genres. The panels are:

Plays, produced in Main Stream established Theatres; convenor: Neka da Costa

Musicals, also staged in Main Stream Theatres; convenor: Dr Lance Maron

Theatre for children and young audiences: age 0-13 as well as Theatre for that middle group of Young Teens, age 14-17, often left to fall through the cracks between kiddie theatre and theatre for adults, and sometimes including set works.  This section is proudly supported by ASSITEJSA, an international organisation specially created to encourage young people to experience and enjoy theatre. They are the audiences of the future!  Convenor: Thea Gafin

New, but we think vitally important new genres to cover are the highly creative and innovative: Dance and Physical Theatre, convenor: Ignatius (Iggy) van Heerden;

Independent/Fringe Theatre: specifically created to capture and assess smaller works by burgeoning, powerful young voices in venues such as PopArt in Maboneng, Olive Tree in Alex, the Table, and smaller venues at the Soweto Theatre complex, UJ and many others! Convenor: Khutjo Green

Tertiary Student/Incubator productions: for non professional artists who are committed to a career in the performing arts by attending Training Institutions such as Market Theatre Lab, Wits drama dept., Oakfields, State Theatre Incubator projects, and more. Convenor: Tiffany Higgo

Executive Director and Legal, Lihan Pretorius:  “judges for each panel have been carefully selected, maintaining a good mix of age, genders and cultures.  Each panel is led by a convenor and we will facilitate a special one day workshop for the Convenors of each panel, to explain and clarify any grey areas as well as creating liaison links with Theatre producers.  Judges will be allocated 2 x tickets per performance, one of which they are encouraged to use to invite and mentor one of the new judges entering this arduous and committed role for the first time this year.

Deputy Chairman and Arts Activist, Maishe Maponya: Due to the fact that our Industry is relatively small, many of the judges are also practitioners.  However, we do not see this as a contentious issue at all, as any judge associated with any production or performer will recuse themselves from debate or voting when that production or performer is assessed.

Board Member, Mbongeni Ngema:  I feel very excited and humbled to be part of this passionate and dedicated team, who are totally committed to serving our fragile but immensely important performing Arts Industry in SA.  I am fairly new on the board, but have attended many of the Awards Events, which are as good as any Tony’s or Oliviers elsewhere in the world!

Dr John Kani has been the Patron of Naledi for 13 years, and is the recipient of the World Impact Award for 2019 for his outstanding work on Black Panther, Lion King and “Kunene and the Kings” starring Anthony Sher, to be produced by the RSC and the Fugard theatre in Cape Town in April:

“our biggest challenge remains that of insufficient funding from Government sources, DAC (Mzansi Golden Economy), NAC (National Arts Council) and the NLDTF (Lotto),  all of whom applaud the work done by Naledi to raise the profile of SA Theatre, and enhance the careers of nominees and winners, but don’t contribute in a meaningful way to help sustain the Awards.

The Executive Directors of Naledi and I will be meeting with stake holders in our Industry as well as top companies and banks to urge them to assist in making Naledi sustainable.

Hemant Vanmali, Finance and Audit, says: “Naledi is now registered as a Section 18A NPC (not for gain), which means that any major sponsorship is fully tax deductable.

We also have a 90 minute special broadcast on KykNet and Mzanzi Magic with features on all magazine programmes on SABC and M-Net so the brand exposure for sponsors is huge.

Des Lindberg, Technical director of Naledi and past Chairman of TMSA (Theatre Managements of SA) for 22 years, has the last word:  “Naledi would not be possible without the immensely valuable sponsorship in kind we receive (in the past from the Lyric Theatre and Tsogo Sun, last year from the Teatro at Montecasion) and this year and for the next 3 years, the magnificent Joburg Theatre, centrally placed in Braamfontein with plenty of secure parking!

Heartfelt thanks to CEO Xoliswa Ngema, COO, Bridget Mashika, and their entire team!

Huge salaams to Alistair Kilby of Splitbeam technical, who sponsor all our state of the Art sound and lighting equipment and many more “electronic toys” to enable the Awards staging to look like a multi million dollar production!  Other in kind support has come from Duncan Riley of DWR distribution, Distell for wine, Stately Design for assistance in re-branding of the web site, and sponsorship proposal, and every single human involved in Naledi with time, talent and love”…..

SAVE THESE DATES:

Nominations Reveal: Tuesday 12 March 2019 @ the Fringe Theatre @ the Joburg Theatre Complex

The 2019 NALEDI THEATRE AWARDS EVENT for productions staged during 2018: Monday 20 May 2019 on the Mandela Stage @ the Joburg Theatre

gp meetgreet 6

Naledi 2019 Judging Panel … Photo credit: Des Lindberg

 

Via: CHRIS AVANT-SMITH: Straight2media@gmail.com

MEDIA RELEASE:

AUNTIE MERLE’S FIRST VISIT TO JOZI!

Popular comedian, Marc Lottering’s most beloved alter ego, Aunty Merle Abrahams sashays onto the stage for the first time in Johannesburg with Aunty Merle, The Musical from 1 February until 3 March 2019 on The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre

Written by comedian, Marc Lottering and directed by Lara Foot, the show has received four Fleur du Cap nominations and has already enjoyed two sell-out seasons in Cape Town to rave reviews.

a musical with an international punch, a debut production that astonishes with its assuredness.” – Karen Rutter, WeekendSpecial

“…witty one-liners that are met with sassy comebacks.” – Kirsten Delcie, What’s On In Cape Town

High drama unfolds in Belgravia Road, Athlone, as Merle’s daughter, Abigail, announces her engagement to her boyfriend, Alan.  As Merle puts it: “He’s a good looking white chap!”  But it’s never smooth-sailing in the world of musicals when Abigail’s twisted and corrupt ex, Denver Paulse – who holds a dodgy top job with the SABC – is determined to get her back – and if not, threatens to reveal a very dark secret which is bound to tear the lovers apart.

Aunty Merle, The Musical boasts a talented South African cast including Marc Lottering as Aunty Merle, Tracey-Lee Oliver as Abigail, Paul du Toit as Alan, Loukmaan Adams as Denver Paulse, with a stellar support cast including Royston Stoffels, Tankiso Mamabolo, Gina Shmukler, Adrian Galley, Carmen Maarman, Zandile Madliwa, Sizwesandile Mnisi, Anzio September, Crystal Finck and Austin Rose – accompanied by a live 8-piece band.

Twenty-two original songs, with lyrics by Marc Lottering and Tarryn Lamb; musical direction by Alistair Izobel and choreography by Grant Van Ster, have earned the cast thunderous standing ovations.

Aunty Merle – The Musical is suitable for all ages (no under 3’s).  Tickets from R145 are available through Webtickets and Pick ‘n Pay outlets.  Performances are Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8pm, with matinee shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm.  Visit www.joburgtheatre.com for more information.

Join in the conversation online with #MerleInJozi:

Facebook: @Marc-Lottering and @auntymerlethemusical

Twitter: @marclottering  

Instagram: @marc_lottering

Via:

Logo2wBB

POLKADOTS – The Cool Kids Musical

Polkadots

Isn’t it just ridiculous that in 2018, we adults have learned absolutely nothing … and that the more things change, the more they stay the same … and that the more progress we’ve made, the more backward we really are?!? Well, thank goodness for bright, bold, unapologetic children’s musical theatre! It says it like it is, without sugar coating or subtlety – kids just don’t buy into that nonsense.

Polkadots - Little Rock Nine

Monument to the Little Rock Nine – taken on a visit to the Arkansas State Capitol … July 2018

Written by Melvin Tunstall III, composed by our very own SA boykie, Greg Borowsky together with Douglas Lyons, who also wrote the lyrics. The original idea of POLKADOTS was inspired by the Little Rock Nine who ended segregation in American schools in the late ’50’s. But before you start yawning, and wondering how on earth this relates to kids of today … sadly it does!

Polkadots - Lily

Gugu Dhlamini

 

What’s it all about?  Lily Polkadot (the gorgeously bubbly Gugu Dhlamini) has recently moved to the town of Rockaway and is apprehensive about her first day of school. She’s the only Polkadot in a school of Squares. And immediately she’s targeted by Mean Girl, Penelope Square (Kirsty Marillier, in fabulous, full-scale viciousness), purely because of the way she looks – she’s a ’round peg, in a square hole’ and isn’t wanted here! She’s misunderstood wherever she turns, and whatever she says (despite her determined optimism), and even confronted with a separate water fountain to drink from! All she needs is one friend so that she doesn’t feel alone. Surprisingly this comes in the form of Penelope’s shy brother Sky (wonderfully awkward and endearing Bonginkosi Jay Hlatshwayo), and also the sunny teacher Mrs Square (vivacious and highly accomplished

Polkadots - Penelope

Kirsty Marillier

Andrea Shine – who also doubles up as Mama Square).

This small, but extremely skilled cast has no trouble keeping its audience enthralled, engaged and entertained and in just 55 colourful, vibrant minutes, our four main characters teach us all some fundamental life lessons!

There’s a very good reason why POLKADOTS recently won the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Show in New York. The entire show teaches us that what makes us different is what makes us awesome! Not one of us is the same, and why do we even want to be? But then why can’t we accept each other as we are – for after all, we’re all the same on the inside?

Polkadots - Sky

Bonginkosi Jay Hlatshwayo

Kids of all ages will gain something from POLKADOTS, whether it’s just the fun element, the catchy songs that carry great messages, or the more in-depth meaning of the storyline. There’s really something for everyone here.

This is POLKADOTS’ first international production and it’s not surprising that it’s led by an award-winning local team. Making its debut at this year’s REDFEST, followed by a week of school holiday shows at Redhill, it’s produced by Joseph Gerassi for Redhill School, in association with producers Drew Bakker and Rowan Bakker for &CO, together with associate producer Matthew Counihan. Shelley Adriaanzen directs and choreographs, with musical supervisor by Rowan Bakker and production design by Sarah Roberts.

Polkadots - Ms.Square

Andrea Shine

With its strong anti-bullying message, a tour schedule is in the pipeline. So keep a close eye on the POLKADOTS SA Facebook page for updates.

For info on shows this week, and to book, click here.

Don’t miss POLKADOTS. I can’t recommend it enough!

All cast photo credits: Ronel Hugo

 

 

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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