Showtime lets the good times roll
CONCURRENT with the announcement of the cast for the 2018 Showtime Theatre Awards and revue this week, executive producer Bob Eveleigh has announced that the popular event now also has a new naming rights sponsor.
Next year’s 28th production will be known as the Woodlands Dairy First Choice Showtime Awards and Revue, and will be backed by the Eastern Cape company based in Humansdorp.
It is the first time the company will be spreading its wings into the arts and culture area.
The annual young talent development musical comedy revue will carry the title Let the Good Times Roll and will salute the 1950s, a decade known as the brightest in US showbiz history, including numbers made famous by such stars as Teresa Brewer, Patti Page, Doris Day, Connie Francis, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and many others.
The Broadway and Hollywood hits to be saluted include Singin’ in the Rain, The Bandwagon, My Fair Lady, The Pajama Game, West Side Story and Bye Bye Birdie, a 1960s success that will also be featured.
The period also saw the initial birth of rock ‘n roll with such stars as Bill Haley and the Comets, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, and Presley, and featured the start of Frank Sinatra’s amazing second rise to fame, while the comedy gems come from the one-liners of the likes of ‘50s headliners Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Junior, Groucho Marx and Phyllis Diller.
With an overall average age of 17 years, the female members of the company returning from last year will be singer-dancers Abi Ranwell, Kayla Mathiesen and Skye Phillips, plus singer Kyla Smit, along with dancers Kayla Auld and Ma-Bell Muller.
Newcomers are singer-dancers Abby Metzler and Danielle Viljoen, along with singers Kristin Labuschagne and Carli Roberts, plus new dancers Kayla Jacobs and Melandi Marais.
The males are James van der Merwe, seen in the past two Showtime revues, and newcomers Jonathan Hughes and Sikho Gaika.
The special guest stars at this stage are Arthur Daniels (also back from 2017) and Serena Escola, with one new more mature female star still to be added.
Ma-Bell Muller, Melandi Marais and Sikho Gaika are, however, also returning Showtimers, having all been seen in the 2014 Gershwin salute, ‘S Wonderful, ‘S Marvellous.
The main cast will again be supported by a group of 10 pupils from Charlo Primary, still to be selected by musical director Wayne Hughes.
Rehearsals will start in the school holidays in October, and continue over all subsequent Saturday mornings and weekend afternoons until December 2 and 3, and then cease before resuming on January 2 next year.
The revue is devised and written by Eveleigh, who created the Showtime concept 27 years ago.
He is once more joined by the 2017 A Grand Night for Singing main show production team of Marlene Pieterse, Siobhan Day and Hughes. Lance Bright and Rocky Mann once again function as technical consultants.
Let the Good Times Roll will, as was the case over the past two years, be presented in collaboration with the PE Musical and Dramatic Society (Pemads). It will run in the Little Theatre from January 22 to 27.
The Junior Woodlands Dairy First Choice Awards Ceremonies, for primary and high school productions, will take place on January 23 and the main awards on January 26.
MUSICALLY MINDED: Showtime’s production team includes, from left, production secretary Gwen Davis, producer and director's assistant Brenda Ower, director's mentor Marlene Pieterse, director and choreographer Siobhan Day, and musical and vocal director Wayne Hughes