Fun and feisty, but flawed

The cast of The Foxy 4. From left are Leigh Meyer, Camilla Rogers, Marion Loudon and Jemma Kate Badenhorst.

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Stage: The Foxy 4 – Rhumbelow Theatre, Beryldene Road, Kloof
REVIEW BY BILLY SUTER
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TAKE four feisty, fun and attractive young women vocalists, a large collection of songs and medleys covering many decades and genres, as well as a parade of glittering costumes, and you have the ingredients for a hit show.

Featuring versatile and vibrant Durban supper theatre darling Marion Loudon, Rockwood theatre regular Jemma Kate Badenhorst, sweet-voiced Leigh Meyer and a new blonde on the showbiz scene, Camilla Rogers, The Foxy 4 certainly shows potential to become a big winner, and drew some enthusiastic responses at its opening this week.

I must be honest, though, and say that for all its undeniable entertainment value, the show, for which the women perform to backing tracks, left me somewhat disappointed on opening night. It came across as under-rehearsed at times, often in need of more inspired direction, and in even greater need of more imaginative lighting and stage dressing. The show would also have benefitted from some on-stage dialogue, a lot more playful banter, to avoid the dull enter-sing-exit-and-repeat format.

Appearing first in black hotpants under sheaths of red lace, the vocal quartet first arrives on stage with a nod to the disco era, performing I’m Coming Out and We Are Family, and during the course of the show offers a wide variety.

Nice to notice a lot of recent chart hits popping up – among them songs associated with Lorde, Sia, Adele and Camila Cabelo – along with older golden greats that include everything from The Andrew Sisters and Etta James to Beyonce, Vanilla Ice, Aretha Franklin, Christina Aguilera, Mango Groove and Mafikizolo.

I particularly enjoyed the interpretation of The Belle Stars’ The Clapping Song and the closing Natural Women,  both of which feature all four singers, while solo standouts include Meyer’s Send My Love (to Your New Lover) and Loudon’s When Will I See You Again. The African themed item in the second half of the show is also of note.

I didn’t care too much for the occasional video footage shown on a screen to the side of  the stage, featuring pictures of and voiceovers from local theatre personalities – many of whom I have not heard of before – chatting about ‘foxy’ moments in their lives that went wrong.  It allows for the show’s many costume changes but it has little to no connection with the show, however novel the idea.

Tickets for The Foxy 4 cost R150 each (R130 for pensioners and students with cards) and booking is at Computicket or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636.

Performances are at 8pm every Wednesday to Saturday at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm, from today (November 29)  until December


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