Suter’s Showbiz Showcase

After the whirl of the festive season, the local entertainment scene is relatively quiet this week, but note that the colourful Durban pantomime, Cinderella, at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, continues to run until Sunday, January 6 and is excellent value for money.

You might still be able to secure yourself a ticket, but move fast.

Cinderella (a scene from the show pictured above) is the 14th pantomime by the KickstArt theatre company. Richly embroidered with topicality in song choices, nudge-winks and performances, it is a glittering and gorgeous show from the Durban duo, award-winning writer-director Steven Stead and designer Greg King.

It boasts an attractive and talented cast, some splendid voices, uniformally good lighting from Tina le Roux and spectacular sets from King.

Ticket prices for Cinderella range from R140 to R240 each. Booking is at Computicket outlets. Oh, and note that the theatre has its own generator so load shedding should pose no problems.

For my full review of the show click here

A scene from the impressive opening sequence of Big Top Rock, at Durban’s new Suncoast Casino Barnyard Theatre until February 24.

Also worth mentioning is that the new Barnyard Theatre has opened at Durban’s Suncoast Casino, between the casino’s parking lot and beachfront promenade, and is doing well.

It’s a fun venue, if more cramped and smaller that the much-missed Gateway Barnyard Theatre that closed at the end of 2016.

The production there now, until February 24, is Big Top Rock, a reworking of a show staged locally on the Barnyard circuit some years ago.

Wobbles

It is a wonderfully entertaining show which, if perhaps not as good as the original production I remember seeing years ago, makes for an ideal choice to launch the new theatre.

There were some sound wobbles when I attended, but the sound improved as the show progressed. This is a very satisfying show with a fine band, excellent lighting effects, very good costuming and a lot of imagination in conception and delivery.

It opens with host and male lead vocalist Wayne Cumming appearing as a ringmaster, with a German accent, to walk out on to a podium protruding into the audience from the front of the stage. It is above this area that aerial work takes place later in the show, the band and singers providing the accompaniment.

Fireball

Songs performed range from a medley of Elvis Presley hits and AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, to Prince’s Purple Rain, Pitbull’s Fireball, Evanescence’s My Immortal, The Beatles’s Sergeant Peppers and hits associated with, among others, Def Leppard, Aerosmith and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Big Top Rock has performances at 7.30pm every Tuesday to Thursday, when tickets cost R165 (Tuesday tickets are two-for-one price). Performances on Fridays and Saturdays are at 8pm, when tickets cost R165 each.

Sunday shows are at 2pm and tickets cost R130 each (pensioners pay half price and under-12s get in free, for telephonic bookings only).

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Note that one can take along one’s own food although a variety of light meals and platters can be bought at the venue. A full menu is available on the theatre’s website.

All drinks have to be bought at the theatre’s bar. And a gripe here – it would be a very good idea to allow patrons to buy wine by the glass, as one can do at similar venues.

For more details or to book phone 031 940 0500. And for my full review of the show, click here

On the movie scene, among films new in cinemas countrywide this weekend is Blindspotting, directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada. Starring Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal and Janina Gavankar, it tells of a man who, while on probation, begins to re-evaluate his relationship with his volatile best friend.

A fun moment from Dumplin’, a new cinema release teaming Jennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald as mother and daughter.

Also worth seeing is Dumplin’, teaming Jennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald, under the direction of Anne Fletcher. It centres on a girl called Willowdean, nicknamed Dumplin’, the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen.

She signs up for her mom’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow her footsteps, revolutionising the pageant and their small Texas town.

The film has received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Song, for the Dolly Parton-penned Girl in the Movies.

SHOWBIZ TRIVIA:
Do you know? What hit stage musical starring Joan Brickhill featured a very young Claire Johnson of Mango Groove? (Answer next week).

Last week’s question: Which actress played the character Solitaire in the James Bond movie, Live and Let Die? (Answer: Jane Seymour).