Sound Advice (Sept 19-25)

A scene from the Rockwood Theatre’s A Rocking World Tour.

BILLY SUTER with his weekly gig guide. Among music highlights in and around Durban this week are a tribute to global hits, a Barry Thomson solo show and a cabaret by Godfrey Johnson.

A NEW production opened on Thursday, August 13, at The Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino – the colourful A Rocking World Tour, which runs until November 4?

Showcasing a vibrant parade of chart-topping hits from across the globe, A Rocking World Tour opens with a visit to Australasia, where the talented cast pay homage to the great bands and singers that rocked Down Under – from rockers AC/DC and Midnight Oil to the irresistible Kylie Minogue.  From there, they spin the globe and get caught up in an Asian adventure, with a colourful fusion of high-energy Bhangra and Bollywood hits.

The next stop is the world’s party capital, Europe, where the singers and musicians pay tribute to Sweden’s Roxette and Abba, Norway’s A-Ha, France’s Gipsy Kings and Daft Punk, Italy’s Eiffel 65 and Germany’s Boney M, before jetting off to Britain to celebrate Queen.

The worldwide movement continues with the sultry sounds of Latino pop – Mexico’s Carlos Santana, and the cheerful Jamaican jams of Bob Marley. From there, the team bellydance their way through to South America, the only place where hips don’t lie, to the sounds of pop princess Shakira.

Among other acts whose music features in the show are Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Freshlyground, Brenda Fassie, Mandoza and PJ Powers.

The cast includes singers Aimee Rain, Christina Jenkins, Jemma Shankland, Jean Citto Kieran Rennie).

The band consists of Barry Thomson of The Reals on lead guitar (to be replaced next week by former Tree63 guitarist John Ellis), Lloyd de Gier on bass, Dillan Kanny on drums and Shemuel Mahebeer on keyboards.

The theatre opens at 6.30pm – meals are on sale at the venue – with the show commencing at 8pm Thursdays to Saturdays. Tickets cost only R99 each on Thursdays, and R130 each for other performances, but half price for pensioners at the 2pm Sunday matinee performances, when under-12s get in free.

My full review of the show by clicking here;


TOP Durban singer-guitarist Barry Thomson, of hit cover band The Reals, performs a solo tribute show, I Am, I Said, at the Rhumbelow Theatre’s Pietermaritzburg branch at 2pm on Sunday, September 23.

Barry Thomson… Pietermaritzburg solo show.

The venue is the Allan Wilson Shellhole in Alan Paton Road.

The show is described as an intimate tribute to a selection of artists that have bared their souls through songs. The featured acts include Don Henley, Jackson Browne, Neil Diamond, James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty.

Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students) and booking is at Computicket outlets or by calling Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636.


IF YOU missed it at last weekend’s excellent Hilton Arts Festival at Hilton College, consider a trip to Durban this weekend to catch the fun Get Knotted, a cheerful new cabaret by award-winning Durban performers Bryan Hiles, Darren King and Rowan Bartlett.

Get Knotted is being staged at the Rhumbelow Theatre, 42 Cunningham Road, Umbilo, at 9pm this Friday and Saturday (September 21 and 22) and at 2pm on Sunday (September 23) – and again at those times from Friday to Sunday, September 28 to 30.

The show follows the versatile trio’s earlier, lighthearted Las Vegas tribute shows, Tie a Knot In It and Tie Another Knot In It.

To quote the press release: “Bartlett (still in his thirties… just), Hiles (slightly over the hill) and King (on loan from the National Trust), offer another exciting episode in their forays down sordid alleyways and into neon-lit harems that form the backbone of Las Vegas.

“After tying a knot in it, then tying another knot in it, they have now got themselves completely tangled in a web of pointless trivia and memorable melodies to move, soothe and delight.”

Paying tribute to more of the many artists who have performed in Vegas – from Shirley Bassey’s torch songs to the iconic harmonies of Simon and Garfunkel – the trio bring a veritable A to Z of swooners, crooners and others who have graced and disgraced the stages of Sin City.

Rowan Bartlett, Darren King and Bryan Hiles in Get Knotted.

King, Bartlett and Hiles have performed together for more than a decade in Think Theatre’s Othello and Hamlet; and also performed in KickstArt’s The Wizard of Oz together.

All three are multi-award winning performers who have been in the city’s most acclaimed productions over the past two decades.

Tickets for the show cost R150 each (R130 for pensioners and students with valid student cards). A Family Pack discount during the first week of shows is also available – R300 total for two adults and two children.

One may take along one’s own meals or snacks to the venue, but no beverages as a pub is on the premises. Light meals and snacks may also be bought at the venue. Booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636.


POPULAR Cape pianist-singer Godfrey Johnson, who is staging two productions at the Rhumbelow Theatre’s Kloof branch, at Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road.

First up will be Brel, Coward and Me, in which Johnson celebrates some of his favourite artists – among them Jacques Brel, Noel Coward, Cole Porter, Leonard Cohen and Kurt Weill – and also performs some of his own songs.

A show filled with pathos, humour and a dash of madness, its varied songlist includes Marieke, Mrs Worthington and Hallelujah.

Performances are at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (September 21 and 22) and 2pm on Sunday (September 23).

Johnson, who has staged shows to much acclaim for years and who in 2015 composed the music for the Pieter-Dirk Uys musical, Die Van Aardes Van Grootoor, is also staging another acclaimed solo show, the quirky Unhinged, at the same venue. Performances of this show will be at 8pm nightly from Wednesday to Saturday, September 26 to 29, and at 2pm on Sunday, September 30.

This is a new cabaret filled with musical madness inspired by Mozart, Bach, Bowie, Beethoven, Brahms and Madonna.

It is packed with hilarious characters, such as the very concerned citizen, Nugent Stein; the flawless and neurotic, Divina Munschka; and the urban warrior, Juniper Jade.

Be prepared for the “middle-aged person’s guide to the orchestra” and a crazy duet performed by one. Godfrey will also give the audience a chance to choose some of their favourite songs from his extensive repertoire.

Tickets for each of Johnson’s shows  cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students with valid student cards). A Family Pack discount during the first week of shows is also available – R300 total for two adults and two children.

One may take along one’s own meals or snacks to the venue, but no beverages as a pub is on the premises. Light meals and snacks may also be bought at the venue. Booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636.


IF isicathamiya music is your thing, consider a visit to Durban’s Playhouse Opera theatre for the all-night performance on Saturday, September 22.

This is the traditional music genre which attained iconic international status in the 1980s under the advocacy of South Africa’s Grammy Award-winning group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Now celebrating its 21st event at the Playhouse, The National Isicathamiya Competition attracts thousands of fans, who flock to support singing groups from all corners of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

One hundred groups compete in this unique event, whose roots date back more than a century, for coveted prize money totalling R200 000 in these categories: Top 20, Standard and Open Section.

Tickets cost R80 each and can be booked at Computicket outlets. For phone bookings call 0861 915 8000.


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