A plunge into the unknown
‘Second Time Around’ will captivate audiences
A S WE approach the year’s end, many of us mull over what we have achieved and what is in store for the year to come, how brave we are and whether we can seize the moment.
Tapping into this spirit of selffulfilment and new vistas, Jody Abrahams, Loukmaan Adams and Keenan Arrison have cooked up the musical Second Time Round, which is about ordinary people taking the plunge into the unknown.
It is directed by Abrahams and Basil Appolis and is on at On Broadway until November 28, Tuesday to Saturdays.
“We want to tell a lekker local story,” says Abrahams. “We want people to have fun and escape and have a jol. Rather than just stringing songs together, we wanted to find a setting and characters and to tell a story. We thought it would be great to put together characters that resonate with us.”
And what resonated was watching ordinary people transcend their lives and reach for new heights. Originally, the show was a two-hander with Abrahams and Adams, but it was felt that a third protagonist was needed, so Arrison was brought on board.
The setting is the Lost Luggage Department at Cape Town International Airport where two baggage handlers dutifully shuffle luggage around. Adams plays Yussie, aka Yusuf Samuels and Boeta “Yu”. He has accepted his place on the conveyor belt of life.
“ Ja, he knows his suitcases and their personalities,” quips Arrison who plays the other baggage handler – Roddi aka Roderick Samuels. “Roddi is very hip and very now.” He is younger than Yussie, less set in his ways. He throws a curve ball at Yussie and persuades him to go to an audition with him.
Up for grabs is the opportunity for the chance of a lifetime – to sing at a World Cup ceremony. “So, they’ll get seats and see the game and maybe, maybe they will get a break into showbiz. But on the way to the audition, they are in a car accident and get stuck in limbo, dangling in transit between the earthly and celestial worlds.
“As they stand at the point for Lost Souls – one stop from the Pearly Gates, they have to contend with Mr D – played by Abrahams. He wants to process these dudes and transport them to the other side. They find themselves at an audition from hell. Beyond the showbiz dreams, they realise that they are auditioning to get back to earth, to get their Second Time Around.”
The playlist includes standards by The Real Thing, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Kool & the Gang, Lou Rawls, the Jackson 5, Earth Wind and Fire; and the Ratpack.
“It is very much about the journey,” adds Adams, “with things going the wrong way. They get the audition time wrong. The car breaks down and then the accident.”
Abrahams says: “They go on this adventure from their mundane life. For them just driving past Paarl is aspirational.”
Abrahams, 35, and Adams, 34, have travelled way beyond Paarl in careers which have taken them all over the world.
They met aged nine and 10 as child stars at an airport in 1986 when they were both performing in David Kramer/Taliep Petersen’s District Six. At the time Abrahams was a veteran of musical theatre. “I’ve been on the road since I was eight,” he chuckles. Another child star was needed to alternate with him in District Six so Adams auditioned at the Baxter. “They said – you’ve got the job – you are leaving tomorrow for a six-month tour,” he recalls.
Both have had glittering careers on stage and on TV. They dazzled local and international audiences in the Kramer/Petersen show, Kat and the Kings and have picked up nominations and awards. Abrahams was recently seen on Cape Town stages in Under the Fig Tree with his fiancée Diaan Lawrenson. After that, he and Adams performed in Kramer’s Die Ballade van Koos Sas at the Tricycle Theatre in London.
Adams’s stage credits include Ghoema, Songbook and the Where the Boys Are.
Keenan Arrison is the young- blood of this trio. He is an accomplished actor and singer. His theatre productions include The Boy who fell from the Roof, The Bacchae, King Lear, Dalliance (which was staged at the Dublin Theatre Festival) and his own award-winning play, A Bird’s Eye View. He was in the recent a cappella musical Noah, where he played a dumped husband.
“Live everyday as if it is your last,” is how he sums up his spunky character in Second Time Round.
Deep and meaningful plotlines aside, they want everyone “to come along for a laugh” and enjoy the show. It is family entertainment with much-loved songs and audience participation.
Second Time Around is at On Broadway from November 3 to 28. Tickets are R85 and discounts are available for block bookings. To book call On Broadway 021 424 1194 or visit www.onbroadway.co.za
INVIGORATING: Keenan Arrison, left, Jody Abrahams and Loukmaan Adams perform in the musical
Second Time Around.