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Thursday, August 6, 2009


(Pic: Jonothan Didlick, Romie Noval, Lyle Buxton and Cavin Sewell))
Engaging foursome deliver the goods in entertaining tribute to the boy bands. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Devised, produced and directed by Gary McKenzie, The Boy Bands currently running at The Heritage supper theatre venue at the Heritage Market in Hillcrest is an entertaining evening of music paying tribute to “boy bands”. The line-up of hit songs range from Danny and The Juniors and the Platters to the Backstreet Boys and Boyzone.

The Boy Bands features Jonothan Didlick, Lyle Buxton, Cavin Sewell and Romie Noval, the first three forming part of the group Tequila Sunrise and were last seen at uShaka Marine World’s Upper Deck on the Phantom Ship in the show Let’s Hear it for the Boys. Romie Noval, who has been out of the Durban theatre limelight for three years, more than holds his own with this irrepressible trio.

Opening with the Doo-Wap style that continued up to the early 60’s, they get the action going with the 50’s group Danny and The Juniors’ At the Hop, moving on through The Platters to the Beatles, the Hollies, the Bee Gees and the Monkees. The second half ranges from hits by New Kids on the Block to Robbie Williams’ Rock DJ.

The foursome works hard, with Fiona Barnes’s choreography requiring them to handle some pretty nifty dance steps and keeping up the different stage positions. The result is a seamless, movable programme which could easily have become just another music compilation show.

Lyle Buxton moved into the high range for The Lion Sleeps Tonight and I enjoyed his I Want it That Way. Cavin impressed with How Deep is Your Love and particularly with When You Say Nothing at All. Romie led the group with a Shanana styled version of Blue Moon and I enjoyed his Lovin’ Each Day. As the more experienced performer, Jonothan Didlick is a strong figure on stage and his Day Tripper and Daydream Believer were well presented while his nicely-restrained but powerful You Raise Me Up was undoubtedly the highlight of the show.

Playing to shimmering curtains and Tina le Roux’s effective lighting design, it was good to see a group of exuberant young men connecting with the tight harmonies and movement discipline of those early groups. There were occasions when the backing tracks overshadowed the performers but generally, the sound quality was good. Megan McKenzie’s costumes ranged from the formal white DJ’s and black trousers to today’s “anything goes” style which even sees a tailcoat worn with jeans and takkies!

Tickets R190 from Wednesday to Saturday (R165 Tuesday evenings and Sunday 12h30 matinees) include a two-course meal.

The current menu offers as starters a Warm Winter Soup of balsamic glazed red pepper and tomato; Vegetarian Antipasto and Porra Piri Piri Chicken Livers with main courses being Portabella Mushroom Tower, Penne Marinara, Roulade of Chicken and Black Forest Ham and the ever-popular Braised Lamb Shank. No guessing what I chose and a big solid bone awaits my neighbour’s Boerboel in the morning! I enjoyed my vegetarian Antipasto but the size of my companion’s servings of the chicken livers was more of a main course portion. Desserts are not included in the ticket price and these feature a new version of the Heritage’s Crème Brule!

The Heritage Theatre has acknowledged the financial battle most people are fighting at present and several discounted show/meal offers available. Chef Demo Classes in the daytime are also planned for the near future. For information and bookings contact 031 765 4197. – Caroline Smart