Stage set for young theatre talent
The annual Theatre Awards Young Talent Development revue, now in its 29th year, will open, under the title Woodlands Dairy Showtime 2019: Those Were the Days, in the Pemads Little Theatre on January 27, running through to February 2.
This time, following 2018’s smash hit salute to the 1950s, Let the Good Times Roll, the popular revue, a launch pad for many local, national and even international performers and directors, choreographers and musical and vocal directors, will pay tribute to 1960s Broadway and Hollywood musicals.
The decade is widely regarded as the most creative 10 years the Great White Way experienced in terms of musical theatre.
The naming rights have been retained by Humansdorp's Woodlands Dairy, which markets its products under the First Choice label.
The Port Elizabeth Musical and Dramatic Society (Pemads) will again be collaborating in co-presenting the stage production in the theatre that was its home for the first 11 years of its existence, along with Woodlands Dairy and Business and Arts SA (Basa), which annually provides a supporting grant to the overall theatre awards and young talent revue programme.
Those Were the Days is once more devised and written by Bob Eveleigh, with Siobhan Day returning from her 2018 combined debut directorchoreographer outing and guest choreographer Natasha Tait staging some of the big numbers with her dance academy pupils.
Wayne Hughes returns as musical and vocal director with Rocky Mann and Lance Bright continuing as technical consultants, Mari Sharp designing the lighting and Steven van der Merwe sound, provided by Clear As a Bell.
Special costumes by top PE designer Johan Wolmarans will be featured, while past multiShowtime director Marlene Pieterse is the creative consultant this time.
The score will include salutes to Julie Andrews and Barbara Streisand, playwrights Neil Simon and George M Cohan, and songs from such hit Broadway and Hollywood musicals as Bye Bye Birdie, Hello Dolly, Mame, Bells Are Ringing, Gypsy, L'il Abner, The Music Man and a lengthy medley from Finian's Rainbow.
Comedy favourites Bob Hope, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, are back, with the US’s one-liner king, Henny Youngman, making his Showtime bow.
The female core cast has 2018's Kristin Labuschagne and Danielle Viljoen, joined by newcomer Keryn Gillham; with James van der Merwe (returning from 2016, 2017 and 2018) and Jonathan Hughes (returning from 2018), plus firsttimer Matthew Perry among the males.
Leading the junior cast are Angelica Staples and Kalyn du Plessis while the Natasha Tait dancers are Anel Strauss, Chloe Van Rooyer, Gemma Oost- huizen, Karen Weyer, Lia Domin, Monya Meyer, and Te' Shan Olwage.
Ten Charlo Primary School pupils again appear as the Singing Kids Ensemble.
Special guest star will be award-winning Bay soprano Liske Hemingway, specially featured in the salute to Julie Andrews and several other solo spots.
Those Were the Days will run from the opening underprivileged matinee on January 27, the senior citizens show on January 28 at 7pm, and the Junior and Senior Woodlands Dairy Showtime Awards evenings at the same time on January 29 and February 1.
Public performances are on January 30, 31 and February 2 at 7.30pm. Tickets for the two awards evenings cost R70, while seats for the other nights are R70 for adults and R50 for senior citizens, students and children.
Bookings open on January 22 and tickets are available from Phrosne Phillips on [email protected]
Usually, with Showtime booking, any form of voucher or invitation letter is only exchangeable at the Computicket box office at the PE Opera House but, with that theatre closed until mid-January, such bookings can now only be done by e-mailing Phrosne.
Vouchers, at reduced prices of R60 and R40, are available from all Showtime company members.
FUN TIMES AHEAD: Showtimers, from left, Kayla Auld, Kayla Jacobs, Skye Phillips, James van der Merwe and Jonathan Hughes step it out in the finale to 2018’s Woodlands Dairy Showtime revue, ‘Let the Good Times Roll’. James and Jonathan are back in the 2019 edition, ‘Those Were the Days’, at the Pemads Little Theatre from January 27