BY BILLY SUTER
STARS including Amy Winehouse, Prince, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Elvis Presley, George Michael and Freddie Mercury are among those saluted in a new show featuring popular vocalists Timothy Moloi, Joseph Clark and Mariechan.
The two-hour show, with Collett Dawson of The CoLab Network as executive producer, will have only two performances at Johannesburg’s Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City – at 9pm on Saturday, October 20, and 2pm on Sunday, October 21.
It will have the local vocalists accompanied by the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra which, conducted by Eddie Clayton, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Timothy Moloi featured in the FIFA 2010 World Cup Opening Ceremony and on stage in many successes, including Always & Forever: A Tribute to Luther Vandross, Classics is Groot and as the genie in Janice Honeyman’s Aladdin.
Clark’s many credits include Joseph Clark – The Music of Queen, Classics is Groot, Queen At The Opera and Buddy Holly – The Buddy Holly Story, while Mariechan was with the band Jamali and will also be recalled from television’s Popstars.
Hits associated with late greats Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole and John Lennon, as well as South African legends Brenda Fassie and Mandoza, as well as others, will also be on the programme.
Lighting for the show is by Hauser Lighting Design, visual content by Fix Post Production, staging by Gemma Marinus and videography by Dream Canvas Productions.
While the show pays homage to these music icons who have left us too soon, the focus will be strongly on the uplifting atmosphere of inspiration that they continue to live on through their music, the memories they still evoke in all of us, as well as the impact that so many of them have made on the industry and world as a whole.
Executive producer Dawson says: “I wanted Gone Too Soon to pay loving tribute to some incredibly talented musicians, who whilst they are not with us physically today, continue to be with us in the music they left behind.
“These artists have helped contribute to the DNA of the music we hear today. They have left a powerful musical legacy, uniting people from all age groups and races through their music.
“We all have so many memories linked to specific songs or artists that have woven a tapestry throughout our lives, so my aim with this concert is for the audience to sit back and listen – or to get up and dance – to celebrate the magic of this music.”
Says Craig Barendsen, chair of the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra: “It has been a pleasure and an honour for us to work with Collett and The CoLab Network who have been onboard with the JYOC for the past four years as one of the sponsors for our annual A Night With The Stars concerts, and a continuous supporter of all our events.”
“For the JYOC, this performance can bring so much more than music. It is going to help both young and old share memories, create dialogue, create platforms to discuss the life’s ups and downs of these artists but most of all give us all reason to travel down memory lane.”
Tickets range in price from R150 to R280. Book at Computicket outlets, the Lyric Theatre box-office on (011) 248 5000 or via www.goldreefcity.co.za. Discounts are available for senior citizens, students and pupils.
For group bookings of 10 or more, please contact the theatre directly. Group bookings of 50 seats or more qualify for a 15% discount if booked directly with The Lyric Theatre box-office on (011) 248 5000.
Gone Too Soon is being staged in loving memory of two South African legends – Matthew Stewardson and Gugu Zulu – both close friends of Collett Dawson, and whose untimely deaths inspired the concept of the show.