KickstArt Theatre will be staging not one, but TWO South African premieres of Broadway musicals in the first six months of this year.
First up will be the South African première of Stephen Sondheim’s ground-breaking musical, Company. Never having been presented professionally in South Africa before, this witty, wise, and worldly musical about love and marriage in an urban environment, will grace the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre stage for two weeks only from 9 to 21 April. It will be directed by Steven Stead, designed by Greg King, with musical direction by Roland Perold, choreography by Simone Mann, and lighting by Tina le Roux.
If you loved this team’s productions of two other Sondheim masterpieces, Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods, you cannot miss out on this funny, classy, very accessible musical. Apart from the unforgettable hit song, Being Alive, the score features many memorable numbers, including the iconic Ladies Who Lunch, and Marry Me a Little, I’m Not Getting Married Today, Barcelona, Side by Side, You Could Drive a Person Crazy, and Another Hundred People.
The top-notch cast stars Bryan Hiles as the thirty-nine year old bachelor, Robert, who gets a great deal of relationship advice from his circle of married friends, which often conflicts with what he observes in their behaviour.
Multi-award winning actress, Charon Williams-Ros, who will be remembered as a brilliant Mrs Lovett in KickstArt’s Sweeney Todd, as well as Mama Morton in Chicago and Frau Schneider in Cabaret, is returning from the UK for this production, as the abrasive and cynical Joanne. And much-loved actress, Jessica Sole (star of Camelot, Shrek, Into the Woods, Chicago) similarly returns from London to play the neurotic and marriage-averse Amy.
Others in the strong cast include Lyle Buxton, Peter Court, Anthony Downing, Roland Perold, Lisa Bobbert, Liesl Coppen, Anne-Marie Clulow and Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri. Robert’s three love interests are played by the glamorous trio of Roshanda Lewis, Keryn Scott, and Leah Mari, who has recently been getting rave reviews and standing ovations as Maria in The Sound of Music in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Performances are scheduled 7pm Tuesday to Saturday, 2.30pm on Saturday, and 4pm Sunday from 9 to 21 April. Book at Webtickets.
Following this exciting production will be another musical of a very different kind. KickstArt Theatre is proud to present the South African première of The Emperor’s New Clothes, in a version of the famous Hans Christian Anderson fairytale by Broadway stalwarts Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. This team was responsible for the delightful musicals Once on this Island and Seussical, as well as Ragtime and Anastasia.
This colourful and highly entertaining musical will delight children and adults alike. It will run during the July holidays, from 15 June to 7 July, at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.
Directed by Steven Stead, with magical designs by Greg King, musical direction by Roland Perold and fresh new orchestrations by Jaco Griessel, The Emperor’s New Clothes stars Daniel Anderson as Emperor Marcus, with Roland Perold as The Swindler. Others in the cast are Marion Loudon, Lyle Buxton, Mthokozisi Zulu, Keryn Scott, Amahle Tembe and Roshanda Lewis.
Finally, what would a KickstArt year be without a pantomime at Christmas? Ending the year with a colourful, riotous bang is Steven Stead’s rollicking panto version of Puss in Boots! Set on an enchanted Caribbean island, the show features sumptuous sets, colourful costumes, song, dance and jokes a-plenty.
Puss in Boots stars Rory Booth in the title role, with William Young as his hapless owner, Tom, Blessing Xaba as Tom’s long-suffering mother, Merry Marzipan, and Lyle Buxton as his meathead of a brother, Tristram.
Others in this all-star cast include Bryan Hiles, Roshanda Lewis, Belinda Henwood and Kirsty Ndawo.
The production will be directed by Darren King, with designs by Greg King, choreography by Simone Mann and lighting by Tina le Roux.
It will run at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from 5 December to 12 January. Performances are 2.30pm weekdays, 11am and 3.30pm Saturdays, and 2.30pm Sundays.
Early Bird Special Offers of 10% off all tickets if bought before the following dates: Company, book before 16 March, Emperor's New Clothes, book by 1 May, and Puss in Boots book by 1 August.
Book for all KickstArt’s 2024 shows at WEBTICKETS. Visit www.kickstarttheatre.co.za for more details and to make bookings.
Pictured here: KickstArt Theatre’s The Emperor’s New Clothes with Marion Loudon, Roland Perold as The Swindler and Lyle Buxton.
Photo credit: Val Adamson