By BRUCE DENNILL
A Celebration Of Bra Hugh Masekela / Directed by Makhaola Ndebele / The Mandela, Joburg Theatre, Braamfontein, Johannesburg 8
There is no reasonable argument against the staging of a musical tribute to the late Hugh Masekela, one of the most well-known and influential musicians in South Africa’s history. The concern for many audience members in such a situation, though, is that such an event would be so laden with hop-on-the-bandwagon worthiness by association – tedious speeches brimming with hyperbole and dubious self-indulgent back-slapping – that Masekela’s gifts as a flugelhorn and trumpet player, songwriter, musical director and musical activist would end up being largely lost beneath the political grandstanding.
The creative team here did well to avoid any of that potential aggravation by confounding expectations in a number of clever, pleasing ways. It would be been reasonable to present a…
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