Young, Gifted and Gorgeous.
From Billie Holiday to Beyoncè
Hexagon Theatre, UKZN, Pmb
Fri 8th – Wed 13th August
Fri, Sat, Mon, Tues, Wed at 7.30pm
Sunday 10th at 3pm
Tickets: R80 (R60 for seniors, R50 for students)
Booking at Computicket
The Hexagon Theatre’s next production celebrates Women’s Day with a dynamic show which pays tribute to the influence of jazz and blues on American music and the women who made the unforgettable songs their own.
After World War One musical trends in America took a huge upswing as Tin Pan Alley became the focus of the music publishing business. The old spirituals sung by slaves became the basis for blues, jazz and gospel, which, in turn, later on influenced Rock ‘n Roll, R&B, Soul and eventually Hip-Hop. Composers such as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin brought these styles to the forefront of popular music, and black singers were allowed into whites-only clubs – as long as they stayed on stage! From these uneasy beginnings a huge industry developed, leaving an indelible legacy of remarkable performers and memorable music.
This show looks at the music which swept the world and gave us some of the top female singers of the last century, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Etta James, taking in Nina Simone, Roberta Flack and Diana Ross, right up to Tracy Chapman, Mariah Carey, Rihanna and Beyoncè. And of course, the inimitable girl groups such as the Supremes, the Chordettes, the Shirelles and the Dixie Cups, just to name a few. Songs include Georgia on My Mind, My baby Just Cares for Me, Mr Sandman, Chapel of Love, Proud Mary, Killing Me Softly, Hero and Single Ladies, amongst numerous others. Not wanting to be entirely one-sided, there is a small nod to male singers such as Louis Armstrong, Ben E King and the Jackson Five.
Directors Peter Mitchell and Helen Vermaak have assembled a talented cast of up-and-coming young singers, led by local star Erin Fourie, who bring the old and new songs to vibrant life. Mitchell and Vermaak have been responsible for most of the big musicals produced in Pietermaritzburg over the last thirty years, including Grease, West Side Story, Godspell, Cabaret and Magical Mystery Tour. Choreography is by Paul Datlen, with musical arrangements by bandleader Jeff Judge. Costumes are designed by Sandra Styles, with lighting and sound by Marcus Henning.
Young, Gifted and Gorgeous promises to bring you exactly that: the young, the gifted and the gorgeous!