BY BILLY SUTER
ONE of South Africa’s most exciting musical theatre stars in decades, Gauteng’s Jonathan Roxmouth, has come a long way since he first piqued interest as a teenager in such touring Northcliff High School musicals as The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance.
These days, with countless starring roles in hit shows behind him. and two CDs saluting show tunes to his name, he is the darling of the local showbiz realm, and has more awards than one can recall.
Now, on the eve of announcing that he will soon be performing show tunes in July – with a 45-piece orchestra – at the Teatro theatre at Montecasino, Jonathan is facing more accolades.
He has been nominated for three very different roles at the 52nd Fleur du Cap Awards, to be presented at Cape Town’s Artscape Theatre on Sunday, March 19.
He has received two nominations as Best Lead Actor in a Musical – for his superb performance as the bloodthirsty title character in Steven Stead’s excellent production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd; and as pianist-songwriter Marvin Hamlisch in I’m Playing Your Song: The Marvin Hamlisch Story.
His third nomination is for his supporting role as the camp, Elvis-like Pharoah in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Presented by Pieter Toerien, and featuring the cream of South Africa’s musicians and performers, Jonathan Roxmouth – The Musicals in Concert, is scheduled to run at the Teatro from June 30 to July 2. Tickets are now on sale at Computicket.
Joining Roxmouth on the Teatro stage will be some of his favourite performers who are no strangers to the musical theatre scene – among them the wonderful Lynelle Kenned (Maria in The Sound of Music in Durban, Maria in West Side Story, and also seen in Show Boat and Orpheus in Africa) and comedian Alan Committie (Defending the Caveman, Little Shop of Horrors).
Roxmouth and his guests will be accompanied by a 45-piece orchestra under the baton of award-winning conductor and arranger Bryan Schimmel (Annie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Chicago, We Will Rock You, Jersey Boys).
Roxmouth’s credits include starring roles in The Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, Beauty and the Beast, Cats and Sunset Boulevard
He made South African theatrical history in September 2015, when he became the first local artist to headline a series of Broadway concerts titled From the Footlights.
“Rapturous audiences packed the Teatro at Montecasino to hear him perform classic Broadway songs, backed by an 18-piece big band,” says a Teatro spokesman.
“This year sees him returning with a full orchestra as well as an exceptional cast of 20 to perform the famous songs of Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein and many more well-loved composers.
“The arrangements of these songs have been custom-written to showcase Roxmouth’s vocal versatility and virtuosity to the max. Many songs are also featured on Roxmouth’s latest album (released last year), titled My Lloyd Webber.”
Audiences can look forward to songs from The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, West Side Story, Cats, Aladdin, Chess, The Sound of Music, A Chorus Line, Sunset Boulevard, Aspects of Love, Love Never Dies, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and more.
Presented in partnership with Oakfields College as well as the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra, this event promises to be one of the theatrical highlights of the year.
Says Roxmouth: “Everyone has their favourite musical song, but they have to wait for it during the course of the show. The Musicals in Concert is an evening full of those, just without the waiting and performed as you’ve never heard them before, with an extraordinary orchestra.”
Tickets range in price from R200 to R350, and booking is at Computicket outlets.