Priscilla Queen of the Desert- South Africa

Hi everyone, Priscilla Queen of the

Priscilla Queen of the Desert, queen of glitter, queen of fabulous, queen of the STAGE!

OH MY GOSH, this production (currently showing at Montecasino until the 18th of June) is absolutely fantastic, to say the least! For years I have heard about this musical. SO many people have asked me in shocked tones “why have I not seen Priscilla?” I have been told from left, right and centre that Priscilla is something I just have to witness… Well, in true musical fascination fashion, when I heard this show was being done in South Africa I jumped at the opportunity to quickly book my ticket and secure my place to see this extravaganza. I was not prepared for exactly how fabulous this show actually is!

Well, in true musical fascination fashion, when I heard this show was being done in South Africa I jumped at the opportunity to quickly book my ticket and secure my place to see this extravaganza. I was not prepared for exactly how fabulous this show actually is!

Right, let’s go… the story is about 3 drag queens and their trip across Australia. Along the way, they encounter friendship, fear, love, discrimination and eventually come to an understanding of each other and this crazy world that they choose to be apart of. Secrets and personal situations lead these friends on an adventure of discovery and a trip of a lifetime. The music is a compilation of some of the greatest diva inspired music. Expect to hear songs like “It’s raining men,” “I say a little prayer” and “Girls just want to have fun” amongst many other songs that you can’t help but jive along to. This show is ALL about the art department. From the

This show is ALL about the art department. From the costumes to the makeup, to the set design and to the wigs. This production is an absolute visual treat. A candy floss explosion of colour, texture, glitter and creativity. There were many huge prop pieces that blew my mind. In one of the most memorable scenes of the show, a huge silver stiletto can be seen on top of the bus. I have no idea how much glitter was used to cover this gigantic piece but it was just fantastic! There can never be too much glitter and this show is a testament to this fact. The bus ‘Priscilla’ is such a wonderful piece in this production. Lights are used to bring this piece to life and the bus is as much of a character as any other person in this show.

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The cast is phenomenal. It seems like each person who was cast was chosen with such care that there is truly only talent on the stage. The three main characters Bernadette, Tick (Mitzi) and (Adam) Felicia are played by David Dennis, Daniel Buys and Phillip Schnetler. These three men are so damn talented! David Dennis becomes the character of Bernadette in such a way that I heard audience members asking if ‘she’ is a woman in real life. His comedic moments are delivered with such grace that even the crudest of references becomes funny and I-told-you-so like. Daniel Buys brings a sense of humility to his character that you cannot help but root for him to succeed. He (Mitzi) truly is such a darling on stage- I wanted to be her best friend. Phillip Schnetler… Oh wow… this guy is unbelievable! His extravagant charm was really just a joy to watch. Felicia is one of those characters that tries to prove that nothing can phase her however when she gets knocked down, she hits the ground hard and when this happened in the show all I wanted to do was run up and hug her!

The rest of the cast work so well together on stage too. The three divas Candida Mosoma, Thembeka Mnguni and Londiwe Dhlomo-Dlamini brought such glamour to the show. They have the most wonderful voices and I appreciated the effort it must have been for them to sing while being suspended from the ceiling. There was not a single cast member who brought the show down. Each individual was energetic, excited and talented. It was just a wonderful cast to watch on stage.

The true star of the show had to be the costume designer. WOW, where these costumes amazing! I have no idea how someone comes up with some of these outfits but they were truly fantastic. I loved it all, from a dress made out of slip slops to hats with rubber ducks intertwined. This wardrobe department was completely on point and each outfit was more fabulous than the last. This show was truly spectacular. It was for sure one of the grandest productions I have seen and it is going to be an extremely tough act to follow- so good luck to the team of the next big production!

I loved every second of it and was truly upset when it ended. I was not the only one wanting this show to go on for longer, many people in the audience left the theatre planning their next visit to this fantastic show. If you can, you need to make the trip and see this production. The show is full of comedy, humility, gilts, glam and everything in-between! You will not regret it- I promise.

Do yourself a favour and book your tickets through computicket now! You do not want to miss this one…

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

 

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The play that goes wrong (2017)

Hi everyone,

So this is a super exciting review to write! Last night I went to go see “The play that goes wrong” at the theater at Montecasino. A couple of years ago the British company of this same production did a scene at the annual Queen’s Variety performance. I remember laughing myself silly. When I saw that this play was being put on at Montecasino I jumped at the opportunity and booked tickets right away- luckily I did because the performance we went to was sold out. ( 15 April 2017)

The play is about a play that goes horribly wrong. Everything you can imagine going wrong goes wrong. From the actors forgetting their lines to the stage hands forgetting to set props- even the sound and lighting techs forget to do their jobs. It is a wonderful comedy of errors with a few story plots in between. The play is directed by Alan Comittie and he has done a fantastic job of creating these epically comedically timed moments throughout the show.

The cast is relatively small however dynamite comes in small packages. The performances I enjoyed the most last night were Russel Savadier who played the detective, Craig Jackson who played two roles- the gardener and brother of the man in question and Robert Fridjhon who played Thomas Colleymoore. However, the entire cast had wonderful chemistry which really made the play tick.

There were many elements that I really loved about this play. The way that the set fell to pieces was hysterical and so well timed and the way the actors ‘improvised’ their performance was brilliant. However the element I loved the most was the experiential element of this production. This production was not just a walk in sit down and watch sort of play. It was a complete experience. From the moment the audience walks up to the theater, there are signs of things going wrong.

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The signs are the wrong way round, audience members are given the wrong seat numbers to create confusion and stage hands are still busy trying to fix broken pieces of scenery on stage. All these elements make for a wonderful experience which is so important when one visits the theater.  Another element I noticed was how backstage was set up. There were moments in the play that the audience are able to see bits of backstage. Even the backstage is set up in correlation with the theme of the play.

This play was PERFECT for me. Whenever I visit the theater I enjoy looking for mistakes or ‘things that go wrong’ because it makes me feel like there is an extra bit of humanity within the craft. In this instance, EVERYTHING goes wrong which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. By the reaction of the audience Last night I think everyone enjoyed it just as much as I did. The theater was literally vibrating from all the laughter coming from the audience. I think that the whole team behind this production can take it as the highest of compliments. Being able to keep a packed audience howling with laughter for the entire duration of the play is pure talent.

This wonderfully funny play is on at Montecasino until the end of the month. If I were you I would book tickets right away- your stomach muscles will thank you after…

(Tickets are available through computicket)

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

What’s on in Joburg?

Hi all.

The other day I was screening the broadway.com site for plays currently playing on Broadway in New York. Feeling rather left out of the theater fun, I decided to have a look locally at what is showing around JHB. I got the most pleasant surprise at just how much is showing in the next month or so that I thought I just have to share. So without further ado here is my summary of shows currently on in Johannesburg;

Let’s start with Montecasino. There is a fortune going on at Monte between now and June and it is rather exciting. “The play that goes wrong” is currently showing in the small theater. This hysterical comedy of errors comes from the UK and is taking residency here until the end of the month. This play was featured at the Queen’s variety show a few years ago and promise to be an evening filled with laughter.  (I am hoping to see this soon so keep a look out for the review :))

The big musical coming to JHB this April is “Priscilla Queen of the desert) This colourful musical is on from the 29th of April and has just been extended until the 18th of June! Very exciting news. This musical promises to be a feast for the eyes with over 500 beautiful, award winning costumes. The show is about 3 drag queens who embark on the adventure of a lifetime. The cast looks absolutely fabulous and I CANNOT wait to see this show!

On the 15th of May, the wonderful cast of the musical RENT will call Monte their home for one special performance. The original South African cast will come together to perform as a fundraiser for hospiceWits which makes it especially touching since loss and illness are two big themes in the musical.  As always, the music of rent will touch your heart and the story itself will pull on all your heartstrings. This one is not to be missed.

The last biggie at Montecasino for the next few months will be Jonathon Roxmouths ‘the musicals in concert.’ For three nights in June, Jonathon and his legendary voice will be performing all the greatest hits from all our favourite musicals. With a full orchestra and a few tricks along the way, what more can you ask for on a night at the theatre?

On the other side of Town at the Joburg Theater, there is also a wide selection of theatre shows going on. Kids will love watching their favourite characters from Winnie the Pooh come alive at the people’s theatre until the end of the month.

If you miss the special performance of RENT on at Monte, do not stress! There are performances going on at The Joburg Theater until the 5th of June. While it may not be the original cast, it will still be up to our high South African standard of talent.

These are only a few shows picked from a much greater choice. So there is lots of entertainment to choose from 😀 Enjoy, Enjoy, ENJOY!

*lights out*

Natalia

 

 

Cirque Eloize ID (30 November 2016)

Unbelievable, Unreal, Astonishing, beautiful and insane are some of the words that came to mind after watching the incredible company of Cirque Eloize ID at Montecasino last night. The show has travelled here for the second time now and I am so happy I got to attend the opening night in Johannesburg last night. It all goes down at the beautiful Teatro theatre at Montecasino.

I have been to many shows. I have seen a lot of musicals, comedy, dancing and singing. I have seen over the top costumes, incredible sets and huge dance routines. I have watched actors and actresses who are so extremely talented and I have enjoyed every minute of it all. But I have NEVER seen ANYTHING like CIRQUE ELOIZE ID before. This show is so jam-packed with energy that I felt exhausted from just watching it. Watching these performers do what they do is a privilege and I have the utmost respect for them all- and their mothers.

I am pretty certain that these performers possess some sort of magical power that makes them indestructible. The way they move, the way they perform and the tricks that their bodies are able to do are truly incredible. I actually am at a loss of where to start…

The show takes place in an Urban setting and gives off a west side story kind of feel. Throughout the show, there is a story being told. Two groups are battling it out to secure their place in ‘the streets’. There are lovers, rivals and friends. Each section of art, for lack of a better word, has an underlying theme that seems to enhance the story of an Urban city.

What was amazing for me was that these performers did not need any ‘glitter’ to make it all work and come together. Their tricks were out of this world but the way they interacted with the audience was real and raw and I felt like I got to see each performer’s personality. Often when there are many performers on stage the audience get a broad idea of the story, in this show, I felt like each performer was showing me his or her skills. I can not juggle half as well as the juggler but I felt like he drew me in so deeply that I completely connected with him.

There really was nothing complicated on stage or on their performers. On the stage was a tower of boxes- that was it- but the way these boxes were transformed to suit each piece in the show was amazing. Digital graphics were used to set the scene and give the stage a unique background and different levels and openings were used to aid the performers. The ‘box towers’ magical changed from apartment blocks to beautiful backgrounds to a trampoline! It was truly genius.

Each performer had a different talent and it was shown off so beautifully. I felt like everyone had a chance to show the audience what they can do and each act was amazing. No one outshined anyone and there was no sense of who is better than who. I want to say this was largely due to the choreography and the gap fillers in the show. The way that the other performers were choreographed while the main act was performing was so well done. They helped show the audience what was going on when the stage got very busy at times.  There was always a supporting performer on stage to help jolt your eye to the correct place or explain what the main performer was actually doing.

There were so many outstanding acts that it is so difficult to choose ones that I loved more than others. I loved the hip-hop element to it and the acrobatics were insane. The way these people fly through the air is truly amazing. Juggling is always a fun thing to watch and the contortionist was awesome to watch. How she gets her legs all the way over her head like that I will never know- and that’s ok because I just want to enjoy it. The skipping section is so energetic and the aerialists were amazing. The chair balancing piece made me cringe in the best way.

What made the whole night even more exciting was that I got to meet some of the performers after the show. This was a wonderful moment because it reminded me that they are still just people. I watched these incredible artists leave their lives on the stage- literally- and then I got to speak to them like humans do. It was a wonderful contrast that really put the entire experience into perspective.

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The show is running until the 24th December at Montecasino. If you want to treat yourself and someone special to an amazing experience, this is it! GO GO GO!!!

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*lights out*

Natalia

xxx