#TheatreOnTheSquare

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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It’s Well Worth a Visit to Mr Green

Visiting Mr Green 1‘Visiting Mr Green’, currently onstage at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square has been getting such rave reviews that Daphne Kuhn has added an extra (final) show – Sunday 10 June, 3pm.
This exceptional production features superb performances from both Michael Richard and Roberto Pombo. It’s most ably directed by Alan Swerdlow with a set designed by Denis Hutchinson, that will instantly transport you into the typical realms of a Manhattan inhabited by those who still maintain their own little corner of Eastern Europe … in America.
Be prepared to run a gamut of emotions as you enter the home and heart of elderly Mr Green, struggling to come to terms with facing life without his beloved soulmate. He’s alone with his fading memories until young, sassy executive, Ross Gardiner unexpectedly shows up, tasked with spending time with Green as community service in return for almost knocking him over!

Visiting Mr Green 3
Together they manage to navigate the choppy waters of what it means to be alone in modern Manhattan, dealing with the judgment, intolerance and narrow-mindedness of others, about all manner of matters. And surprisingly they realise they have a lot to learn from each other, as well as a lot to share.
Visiting Mr Green is absolutely unmissable! It is heartwarming in a way that many modern scripts just aren’t. This year it celebrates its 20th anniversary!
Book through Computicket or by calling the theatre in 011 883 8606.

CROSS-CULTURE DIVERSITY: AS WIDE OR AS NARROW AS YOU MAKE IT

From KtoK 3How likely is it that a Brownish girl from the Cape Flats (her words), would meet and fall in love with a boy from the close-knit Northern suburbs Jewish community of Johannesburg … while she’s in Turkey, nogal! … and then marry him? Pretty likely actually, because that’s what happened to Chantal Stanfield, and if you head on down to the Auto & General Theatre on the Square in Sandton she’ll tell you all about it in her 1-woman play, ‘From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach’.

With refreshing, boundless energy, Chantal endears herself to her audience as she regales them with her entertaining description of those first star-crossed Tweets exchanged between Turkey and South Africa. And as the time draws closer towards her homecoming, she bravely wonders what on earth she’s gotten herself into.

And with that same zesty enthusiasm, she delights with her description of her introduction to Shabbos dinners, Jewish gastronomy, long-standing family disagreements (I’ll leave it to her to describe those to you), the circumcision ceremony (or ‘bris’), meeting her first Rabbi, and of course, what one wears to all of these occasions when you haven’t grown up ‘just knowing’.

Throughout this narrative, we hear the ongoing advice she assumes she’d receive from her mom (“JJJyyyyy!!!!”) and her CGBF – Coloured Gay Best Friend – and I’m not even going to try and translate that advice!From KtoK 4

Director Megan Furniss has kept things tight with virtually no props to clutter things up, just a comfy lounger, and a bleached wooden chair and table, all moved around by Chantal herself, as she jives along happily to an upbeat, buoyant  soundtrack.

There is a brief, serious moment when the ugly head of racism is reared, because there are always going to be those who, for whatever reason, can’t share in the happiness of others, or are just insidiously ignorant … or who just like to blatantly gossip! But for the most part things are kept on the light side.

Will you understand it if you’re not from either the Jewish or Coloured communities. You might miss some of the innuendo; you might not fully ‘get’ some of the ‘lingo’ but ultimately this is actually a love story that will make you feel quite warm and fuzzy, and that’s something you’ll relate to, no matter where you come from!

Hopefully it will also make people a little more open to having conversations about diversity, difference, ‘otherness’, tolerance and acceptance.

From KtoK 2Koe’siestes: Soft, sticky Cape Malay doughnuts, lightly spiced with aniseed and cinnamon, dipped in syrup and covered with desiccated coconut.

Kneidlach: Jewish soup dumplings made of matzah meal, eggs, water and fat, traditionally served in chicken soup and a staple on Passover. Also known as matzah balls.

Co-produced by Daphne Kuhn and Kizara Kreative.

“From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach” runs from 28th February to 18th March, 2017 at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square, Sandton, with performances from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8pm and extra Saturday show at 6pm. Tickets are R140 and can be booked by calling the theatre on 011 883 8606, theatreonthesquare@gmail.com or through computicket.com. Enquire about dinner-show specials and group discounts directly with the theatre on 011 883 8606.

Theatre Review – BLONDE POISON

blonde-poisonFive enormous, glittering stars to Fiona Ramsay who portrays the tortured Stella Goldschlag, reminiscing about her shadowy past in war-torn Berlin.

Stella seems to have lived a rather comfortable post-war life, so what is it that has brought all these dark memories into the light. Apparently a phone call from a long forgotten admirer: a little boy in the snow, who she mockingly remembers, shyly telling her in his cracked voice “I love you Stella.” The awkward child of the past is now a respected journalist, wanting to hear her story of survival.

We think we’ve heard it all, don’t we, those Holocaust stories, strength of spirit, desperation, inspiration found in the deepest, darkest depths of evil and despair. But Stella’s story is one very seldom brought to light. We hear her description of what it was like to live as a ‘U-Boat’  – an illegal, under-the-radar Jewish citizen; her refusal to back down from her arrogant assumption that beauty will excuse her every fault, even that of being a Jew.

Eventually, inevitably, though, Stella’s luck runs out. Being an Aryan-looking blonde can only get you so far, and then those efficient Nazi lists did tend to catch up with you. And she quickly learns that jealousy and betrayal come to all beautiful girls. But when she’s offered an alternative to the death camps, for both her parents and herself, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to save their lives. So she becomes a “greifer”, a “catcher” for the Gestapo. After all, she says, she knows where all the Jews can be found, where they gather, where they live, who better for the job?

But now, in the present, the echoes of the past are catching up with her, she’s plagued by whispers of yesteryear, asking “How can you live with yourself?” as she begs us to consider: “What would you have done?”

Ramsay presents a chilling portrayal of a ruthless, cold-hearted traitor … or does she? In more light-hearted moments one can almost wonder. Perhaps she was less a traitor, and just another casualty of war, doing all she could to survive? The audience must come to terms with the horrific realisation of what moral code was in play at the time, if any. The riveting scene unfolding onstage keeps one so absolutely enthralled that there’s barely time to even comprehend the stark reality of what Stella needed to confront, both in her past and her present.

Gail Louw’s Blonde Poison is a multi-faceted, mesmerising piece; one that will leave audiences with much to consider for quite some time after they’ve left the theatre. Director Janna Ramos-Violante has done a sterling job, ensuring that the depths do not plummet too low for too long, nor do the lighter moments allow audiences to lose focus. Ramsay’s movement through the simple, but functional set flows easily, and one is never left guessing as to her intent.

Blonde Poison will run at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square from 10th January – 4th February 2017. There will be 6 performances per week – Tuesdays to Fridays at 8.15pm and two shows on Saturdays at 6pm and 8.15pm. Enquire about dinner show specials and group discounts. Call the theatre on 011 883-8606 or book online: www.computicket.com or tel. the call centre: 0861 915 8000

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