Fun tribute to Buble and Mercury

Jonothan Didlick stars in Buble and Bulsara, at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo this weekend only. The show was first staged locally at Kloof’s Tina’s Hotel in mid-April. Didlick is the son of John Didlick, of popular Durban vocal trio The Gee Jays.

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Stage: Buble and Bulsara – Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Road, Umbilo, Durban
(Final performances at 8pm today, November 23, and 2pm tomorrow, November 24)
REVIEW BY BILLY SUTER
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THERE is no question that Michael Buble and Farrokh Bulsara, who later became much better known as Freddie Mercury of Queen, are somewhat strange bedfellows – and singer Jonothan Didlick is the first to admit this when he steps on to the stage at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo.

The commonality, he points out, is that he is a big fan of both performers and has often paid tribute to both in various shows, most notably though flamboyant Freddie in his six years working the Barnyard circuit.

From Durban, but now based in Pretoria with his wife, a fellow performer he met on the Barnyard circuit, Jonothon (or JJ as some know him) is the son of amiable John Didlick of the popular Gee Jays vocal trio.

Both father and son will be recogniseable to visitors at the now-defunct and much-missed Heritage Theatre in Hillcrest, where Jonothan performed both Mercury and Buble tributes.

On second thoughts, some may not recognise the tall young man – he has buffed up quite a lot since his Durban performing days and, judging by oohs and aahs during his performance last night, is quite a hit with the ladies.

Jonothan Didlick as Michael Buble.

He has also grown in confidence, charisma and vocally, and his new show is great fun entertainment that did so well with pre-bookings when staged in April at the Rhumbelow Theatre at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof, that an extra show was added.

Jonothan builds an easy and quick rapport with his audience and the full-house opening night crowd loved every second he was on stage, often singing along to the hit songs and being encouraged to do so.

The first half has Didlick in a dark, three-piece suit, presenting all the Buble favourites, sometimes mingling with the audience; and the second half has him with the Mercury classics, strutting about with a fake moustache, dark shades, vest and yellow jacket and, at one point, a royal cloak and crown.

All the giant songs are here – the Buble section, which I enjoyed the most, opening with Feeling Good and Mack the Knife and going on to include Everything, Nobody But Me, Home, Heartache Tonight, Sway, Me and Mrs Jones, Save the Last Dance For Me, a cover of the Bee Gees classic To Love Somebody and, as a pre-interval lead-in to the second-half Mercury moments, Buble’s cover of Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

The second-half features One Vision, It’s a Kinda Magic, The Great Pretender, Don’t Stop Me Now, Tie Your Mother Down, Somebody to Love, Bohemian Rhapsody (with a good backing track including multi-harmonies), Love of My Life and a fun medley of Fat-Bottomed Girls, We Will Rock You, and Another One  Bites the Dust. The encore is We Are the Champions. 

Vocally, Didlick is much better in the Buble section, but in the Queen section, where he sometimes avoids attempting  demanding high notes, there is a lot more fun and playfulness. It all adds up to much enjoyment.

Buble and Bulsara has final performances at 8pm today (November 23) and 2pm tomorrow (November 24). Tickets cost R150. Book at Computicket or call Roland at 082 499 8636.

Jonothan Didlick pays tribute to Freddie Mercury.

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