BY BILLY SUTER
BESIDES the production of Little Shop of Horrors running at Westville Boys’ High School until May 21 – see separate post on my site, under ‘Theatre’ – two other KwaZulu-Natal high schools are staging musical productions this month.
Starting tonight (May 9), Kearsney College is presenting Willy Russell’s acclaimed hit musical Blood Brothers, which ran for 24 years on London’s West End. It’s a hilarious, provocative and heart-breaking show that tells the story of the Johnstone twins.
A professional South African touring production was given a local flavour in recent years.
The musical centres on a woman with numerous children to support, who surrenders one of her newborn twins to the childless woman for whom she cleans. The boys grow up streets apart, never learning the truth, but becoming firm friends and falling in love with the same girl. One prospers while the other falls on hard times.
The Kearsney College production of Blood Brothers features a band in the orchestra pit, lighting design by SAS Productions and sound design by Dark Horse Productions.
The show runs in the school’s Henderson Hall until Friday (May 12) – cinema-style format for performances from Tuesday to Thursday, and the final night in a supper theatre format. Booking is at Computicket outlets.
Crawford College, La Lucia, is staging Feel Good, a music revue, at 7pm on May 26 and 27. Tickets cost R120 each and booking is by phoning Jacqui Warren at 083 441 5105.
The cast comprises 17 Crawford College vocalists, joined by nine Crawford Prep singers and the Crawford Senior Prep senior choir.
The band accompanying the vocalists features Randle Duki on keyboards, Shyane Kistensamy on lead guitar, Brad Nagoorsamy on bass, Alwyn Sing on drums, Nina Watson on cello, Nokwanda on flute and the show’s director of music and vocal coach, Nick Wium, on piano.
“I try to produce a musical revue annually to give most of the students an opportunity to showcase their talents. I feel that an actual musical will only give very few an opportunity to shine, whereas a revue includes far more songs,” says Wium.
The first half of the show will offer musical theatre songs, among them Aquarius from Hair, I Don’t Know How To Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar, a mash-up of the Les Miserables hits I Dreamed a Dream and On My Own, and Listen and I Am Changing from Dreamgirls.
The second half will feature varied South African songs, among them Feel Good by Lira, Special Star by Mango Groove, Are We There Yet by Rubber Duc and Just Jinjer’s What He Means.
“All the girls’ dresses are copies of what Lira wears and, in general, the evening is intended to be quite glamorous,” adds Wium.
The sound Crew is SASound, owned by an ex-Crawford student, Chris Stranex.
“The show’s choreographer is international ballet dancer Casey Swales. He is also a former Crawfordian and has choreographed some exquisite dance routine for the four fabulous dancers (dance students) who perform in some of the up-tempo numbers.”
Another ex-Crawford student and Pop Idols and The Voice Australia finalist, Lize Heerman, is also making a guest appearance, and will be joined on stage by rapper Bongani Msomi.
“On the morning of Saturday, May 27, we will be hosting 300-plus retirees, mostly from less affluent retirement homes, to perform for them and treat them to tea and cake.
“They are they are ‘my best’ and I have got to know many of these dear old people from the many Christmas concerts extravaganzas I have produced, where they are bussed in as guests. I am hoping to do another huge Christmas concert at the end of this year.”