Feast of varied stage fare

Jonathan Roxmouth stars in an Elton John tribute, We’re Still Standing, at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo from May 21 to 23.

……BY BILLY SUTER……

THE excellent Jonathan Roxmouth, fresh from long touring internationally as the title character in Phantom of the Opera, will perform an Elton John tribute show at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre in Cunningham Road, Umbilo, from Friday to Sunday, May 21 to 23.

The production is a glittering highlight of a varied roster of shows heading for the Rhumbelow Theatre in coming weeks – another gem being When Divas Collide, a show that will mark the final South African performances by popular singer-pianist Cat Simoni, who is soon to emigrate with her family to the UK.

In addition, the Rhumbelow, in an attempt to diversify its entertainment offerings and to celebrate its 20th anniversary of opening the Umbilo theatre, is planning an Oscar Awards-themed formal, dress-up dinner (June 25) and a Quiz Evening (June 26). Also planned for the birthday weekend is a Fun Car Rally (June 27) that will involve contestants driving around Durban searching for clues and ending up at the Rhumbelow in Umbilo for snacks and drinks.

More details will be announced soon, says entertainment manager Roland Stansell, who is seeking prize donations for the birthday celebration events. If able to help, contact him at 082 499 8636 for more information.

But back to shows… Jonathan Roxmouth’s eagerly awaited new revue, We’re Still Standing, will have him singing and playing piano to salute the hits of Elton John. Performances have been scheduled for the Umbilo branch of the Rhumbelow at 7.30pm on May 21 and 22, and 2pm on Sunday, May 23. Tickets for these performances cost R180 each.

Cat Simoni’s show, When Divas Collide, will team her with powerhouse vocalist Lucy Tops, with whom Simoni recently toured the Cape with this fun production. It is scheduled for performances at the Umbilo branch of the Rhumbelow at 7.30pm on May 28 and 29, and 2pm on Sunday, May 30. Tickets for these performances cost R160 each.

Cat Simoni and Lucy Tops in When Divas Collide.

Other shows lined up for the Rhumbelow theatres include a new musical tribute by Durban rock band, In the Flesh, which gave us the recent Tribute to Pink Floyd and Southern Rock Classics shows, both well received.

The new show by the band – singer-guitarists Aaron Saunders and Ross Tapson, bassist Neil Ford and drummer Grant Halliday – is Dead Legends, saluting hits associated with the likes of David Bowie, Prince, Amy Winehouse, Freddie Mercury, Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy and others.

The show debuts with performances from May 7 to 9 at the Umbilo Rhumbelow theatre, then will be staged from May 21 to 23 at the theatre’s Kloof branch, at Tina’s Hotel. It will next be performed at the Pietermaritzburg Rhumbelow, at the Allan Wilson shellhole, at 2pm on Sunday, June 27; and at the Northlands Bowling Club, Durban North, at 7.30pm on Saturday, July 3.

The following are also scheduled for performances soon:

Dire Straits Unplugged – Kloof Rhumbelow at Tina’s Hotel at 7.30pm on May 7 and 8, and 2pm on May 9. Durban band The Reals offers a fresh approach to the music of Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits. The show is a tweaked revival from Barry Thomson and The Reals, offering new songs including collaborations between Knopfler and James Taylor (Sailing to Philadelphia), Emmylou Harris (This Is Us) and Jeff Healy (So Far Away). Of course it also features the classis Dire Straits hits.

I Love a Show Tune – Pietermaritzburg Rhumbelow, at the Allan Wilson shellhole, at 2pm this Sunday, May 9 (Mother’s Day). Singer-pianist Judith Hawthorn, accompanied also by pianist Jacques Heyns, presents a fun mix of shows from musical theatre. Included are songs from My Fair Lady, Beauty and the Beast, Once Upon a Mattress, Mary Poppins, Oklahoma and more.

Anthony Fiddles While Candida Burns – Umbilo Rhumbelow Theatre in Cunningham Road from May 14 to 16. Anthony Stonier appears as himself and in drag in a show that celebrates his 25th anniversary since annually performing as a leggy dame in local naughty pantos. He looks back over the years, not only in theatre or song, but the fashions, fads, foolishness and fun found in this quarter century.

Note: Booking for all shows is at Computicket or by contacting Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636.


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