Bob Eveleigh writes:
With a new naming rights sponsor, Woodlands Dairy, the cast of the 28th annual Showtime Awards Revue are in final rehearsals.
The show, Let the Good Times Roll, opens on Monday, January 22, at the Little Theatre in Port Elizabeth at 19:00.
It is the first time that Woodlands Dairy, which markets First Choice products and annually gives back substantially on the social upliftment front in its home area of Humansdorp, supporting 21 non-profit local organisations financially, will be spreading its wings into the arts and culture area.
As in the past two 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.
Let the Good Times Roll is once more devised and written by Executive Producer Bob Eveleigh, in yet another different distinctive style especially related to the comedy. with Siobhan Day stepping up from her maiden Showtime choreographic outing last year to make her adult theatre bow as a director, as well as staging the dance and movement routines. Simo’ne Buchner, Principal of the Ellen Bunting Dance Academy, as was the case last year, will stage the tap routines.
Day will be mentored as director by Marlene Pieterse, with Wayne Hughes returning as Musical and Vocal Director.
Rocky Mann and Lance Bright again function as technical consultants, with Mari Sharp designing the lighting and Steven van der Merwe designing sound, provided by Clear as a Bell.
This edition of the annual young talent development musical comedy revue will salute the 1950s, a decade that has come to be known as the brightest in US showbiz history, including numbers made famous by such stars as Teresa Brewer, Patti Page, Doris Day, Julie London, Connie Francis and many others, while the males include Nat “King” Cole, Pat Boone, Elvis Presley, Sammy Davis Junior, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.
The Broadway and Hollywood hits to be saluted include Singin’ in the Rain, The Bandwagon, My Fair Lady, The Pajama Game, West Side Story and Bye Bye Birdie, a 1960s Great White Way success.
The period also saw the initial birth of rock ‘n roll with such stars as Bill Haley and the Comets, Buddy Holly, Presley and Boone and featured the start of Frank Sinatra’s amazing second rise to fame, while the comedy gems come from the one-liners of ’50s headliners Bob Hope, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Groucho Marx and Phyllis Diller.
The company of 22 includes a bright core cast of five girls and two boys (average age 17 years) plus five dancers and 10 pupils from Charlo Primary School and five guest stars, Tara-Jane Stern, Arthur Daniels, Serene Escola and speciality dancers Roche Merrick and Rebekah Calitz, in jive and tango routines.
Let the Good Times Roll will run from Monday, January 22, to Saturday, January 27, with all performances at 19:30, except the opening night, which is at 19:00, as will be the Junior Woodlands Dairy First Choice Awards Ceremonies on Tuesday, January 23, (high and primary school productions) and the main awards on Friday, January 26.
Booking, which will be with Phrosne Phillips on e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, will open on Thursday, January 11. In general, admission costs R70 for adults and R50 for senior citizens, students and children.
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 January 18, this year booking can also only be done, regardless of type of reservation, by e-mailing Phrosne.
Tickets for the awards nights on Tuesday, January 23 (Juniors) and Friday, January 26 (Seniors), are priced at R70 throughout the house and the performance on Monday, January 22, is a private house for Senior Citizens Residences. The Thursday of the run is a sponsors and patrons night, but some public seats are available at R50.00.
For the two public main nights, on Wednesday, January 24, and Saturday, January 27, admission will cost R70 for adults and R50 for senior citizens, students and children.
Vouchers are obtainable, as usual, from company members at slightly reduced pricing of R60 and R40.
Showtime is supporting the Animal Welfare Society in this 28th 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 this in the receptacle placed in the theatre foyer for this purpose.