Bob Eveleigh: Woodlands Dairy Showtime 2019: Those Were the Days opens in the Pemads Little Theatre on Sunday, January 27, running to Saturday, February 2.
The annual Theatre Awards Young Talent Development revue is now in its 29th year. This time, following last year’s highly successful, smash hit salute to the ’50s, Let the Good Times Roll, the popular revue, will pay tribute to 1960s Broadway and Hollywood musicals.
The revue has come to be regarded as Port Elizabeth’s top all the family yearly show and has bred many international, national and local performers and directors, choreographers and musical and vocal directors over its lengthy history as one of PE’s trademark annual theatre events.
The 1060s is widely regarded by American showbiz writers as the most creative ten years in musical theatre the Great White Way has ever experienced.
The naming rights have been retained by Humansdorp’s Woodlands Dairy, which markets its products under the First Choice label, and who made a tentative first venture into the world of theatrical sponsorship, after supporting some other 21 community projects for many years in their own operational area, last year.
After seeing the production, Woodlands CEO, Lex Gutsche wrote :to Executive Producer Bob Eveleigh: “My wife, Janice, and I experienced your show and we were really impressed with not only the performers but also the profound spirit behind your endeavours – to provide a worthy platform for youngsters to enter the field of stage musical shows.”
Marketing General Manager Tinus Pretorius added: “It was a pleasure and privilege to work with you on this project. Lex also said that he really enjoyed the show.”
Again, as in the past three years, the Port Elizabeth Musical and Dramatic Society (Pemads) will 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 South Africa (BASA), which annually provides a Supporting Grant to the overall theatre awards and young talent revue programme.
Those Were the Days has Siobhan Day returning from her combined debut director/ choreographer outing last year and guest choreographer Natasha Tait staging some of the numbers with her Dance Academy’s pupils.
Wayne Hughes returns as Musical and Vocal Director with Rocky Mann and Lance Bright continuing as technical consultants, and Mari Sharp designing the lighting and Steven van der Merwe sound, provided by Clear as a Bell.
Special costumes by top PE dress designer Johan Wolmarans will be featured, while past multi-Showtime director Marlene Pieterse is the Creative Consultant this time.
The superb score from this year’s show includes 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 plus many others.
Last year’s comedy favourites, Bob Hope and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, are back, with America’s One-Liner King, Henny Youngman, making his Showtime bow, while the audience will also learn all about international comedy’s, “Rule of Three”.
The Female Core Cast this year 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 first-timer 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 Oosthuizen, Karen Weyer, Lia Domin, Monya Meyer, and Te’ Shan Olwage.
Twelve Charlo Primary Schools again appear as the Singing Kids Ensemble.
Special Guest Star will be award-winning Port Elizabeth soprano Liske Hemingway, who led the female cast in the 2009 Showtime musical, Passport to Teleland and is specially featured in the salute to Julie Andrews plus several other solo spots.
Those Were the Days will run from the opening underprivileged matinee (a returning past favourite revived this year) on Sunday, January 27, at 15h00 via the usual Senior Citizens show on Monday, January 28, at 19h00 and the Junior and Senior Woodlands Dairy Showtime Awards evenings at the same time on Tuesday, January 29, and Friday, February 1.
Public performances are on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, January 30, 31 and February 2, all at 19h30.
The dress codes and atmosphere for the two awards evenings, for which all seats cost R70, have been much upgraded this year, while seats for the other nights of the run are R70 for adults and R50 for senior citizens, students and children.
As per last year, booking, which opens on January 22, will be with Phrosne Phillips on e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Usually, with Woodlands Dairy 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, this year such booking can also only be done, regardless of type of reservation, by e-mailing Phrosne.
Vouchers, at reduced prices of R60 and R40, are available from all Showtime company members.
Woodlands Dairy Showtime 2019 is once again supporting the Animal Anti-Cruelty League this year, and so anyone attending any performance during the season is invited to bring along tins or packets of dog or cat food and deposit these in the receptacle placed in the theatre foyer for this purpose.
Article source: https://www.artlink.co.za/news_article.htm?contentID=44653