A NEW DAY

15 07 2009

I’ve always thought that going to the theatre is such a treat. To actually see real people performing and singing right in front of you, compared to seeing a movie, has always been moving for me.
I remember that the very first time I ever went to a theatrical production was when I was 5 years old, and it was during my ballet phase, which lasted all of Sub A (Grade 1). I either saw “The Nut Cracker” or “Cinderella” – it was in 1980, so please forgive my rusty memory. My ballet teacher, Terry Gillard, took the whole lot of us to what is now called Artscape.

The other landmark performance was that of “District Six – The Musical” in 1986 or 1987 at the Baxter Theatre. It was the first show that I saw with my mother. Like most Coloured people on the Cape Flats, this show was the epitome of all musicals, because it reflected our roots and brought back so much memories of our beloved neighbourhood.

I now leave “memory lane” and get on the “highway” that is present day Johannesburg…

I recently had the privilege of watching a musical spectacular called “A New Day” at Carnival City. Not knowing what to expect, added to the excitement of the evening, which started with a buffet finger dinner and refreshments. We entered the Mardi Gras Theatre and were seated at round tables, and then the curtains lifted and the show began, after a few words of thanks from the show’s Producer and Director, Tyrone Watkins.

The show is a mixture of old and new songs, ranging from Michael Bublé to Elton John, Celine Dion to Randy Crawford, and I was blown away by the vocal range of the performers. I’d even go as far as saying that Joseph Clark, Sury Boltman, Desiré Hennings, Jamali and the Ekurhuleni Youth Choir, sang the cover versions better than the original artists.

The theme of the show, as the name indicates, is that of “A New Day” – each new day is a chance to start afresh, with a clean slate.
Herein lies the inspirational part of the show, and some of the songs brought a knob to my throat and I had to hold back the tears, especially when Desiré Hennings sang “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus, which is currently enjoying major radio airplay.

As the program states, “A NEW DAY celebrates new beginnings and has been conceptualized to embrace positive change in all spheres of our lives with a compelling and motivational message through music: where inspiration is the goal, rather than entertainment.”

The 70 minute show also incorporates some local flavour with a medley of Kurt Darren songs, and I found myself singing along to “Meisie Meisie” and “Loslappie” when the crowds got up from their seats and started to dance and clap along to Sury Boltman’s energetic performance.

It was also amazing to actually see the Electric Pops Orchestra on stage, as orchestras always seem to be “caged” at the bottom of the stage out of everyone’s view, and yet they play a pivotal role in any theatrical production.

Well done to Tyrone Watkins (Producer and Director of the show) and his production team. It was an elegant evening of song and dance that I haven’t experienced in a while. It makes you realize the amazing talent that our South African artists have, and I wonder why many of them are forced to pursue their entertainment careers in hotels in places like Dubai and on cruise ships.

A NEW DAY is currently on at the Mardi Gras theatre at Carnival City until the 8th of August 2009.

You can purchase your tickets from Computicket and they range from R65.00 to R90.00, so it’s not too heavy on one’s pocket.

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