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Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Burlesque! It‘s not a place. It’s not a time. It is a fantasy. It is intrigue. It is a feast for the senses. So, head for the Heritage Theatre in Hillcrest.

Historically speaking, Burlesque was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in American theatre from the 1930s until the late 1950s, an era in which the art form's true stars possessed not only the most bodacious of bodies, but also extravagant costumes, playful choreography, a powerful sense of humour, and more often than not, an exceptional gimmick.

In recent decades, there has been a revival of the style of Burlesque, with the help of the 2010 film starring Cher and Christina Aguilera, and a whole new generation has fallen in love with the art of Burlesque for its intrigue, spectacle and glamour. With an uninhibited atmosphere, Burlesque venues in the 30’s were renowned for their bawdy comedy and female striptease, with the ladies encouraged to show off their often more than ample figures.

The Heritage Theatre’s production, which scooped no less than three Mercury Durban Theatre Awards: Gary McKenzie (Producer); Liesl Coppin (Best Performer), and Janine Bennewith (Choreography), is a cheeky, sultry , sizzling extravaganza of song and dance centred on timeless characters who work together, live together and love together. They include Fantasia, (Marion Loudon) the club hostess and the sleazy, cheesy club owner with a superiority complex, The Master of the House (Gary McKenzie). There’s the powerhouse singer, and main attraction, Louise (Lauren Laing) and the exotic and erotic Swedish dancer, Delicia (Liesl Coppin), who says: ”not all lap dancers are from Lapland.. shweetie”.

Conceptualized and directed by Janine Bennewith and written and co-compiled by Gary McKenzie, the music moves from old-time burlesque to comedy burlesque to the more modern day style.  Expect to hear songs like My Heart Belongs to Daddy, Hey Big Spender and Let Me Entertain You, to Patricia the Stripper, When You're Good to Mama, Cell Block Tango and Razzle Dazzle, as well as Master Of The House and Welcome to Burlesque. The show also features four hot dancers in Cathy Barry, Maxine Muir, Geezo Peterson and Danny Guselli.

Each song is innovatively moved and staged by Bennewith and designed to draw audiences into the fantasy and intrigue, and with scintillating costumes, they are in for a feast as they enter into this magical and enchanting world that is Burlesque.! Everyone’s invited.

There are three “previews” on February 26, 27 and 28 where a limited number of tickets will be available on a R195 buy-one-get-one-free basis. First come first served.

Burlesque then runs until March 24. Tickets R195 from Wednesdays to Saturdays (R165 Tuesday evenings and Sunday lunchtime) All prices include the Heritage’s good value two-course meal. A non-dining, “show only” option is also offered at R120pp. Bookings on 031 765 4197 or online at Heritage Theatre is situated in the Heritage Market in Hillcrest.

NB:This show is rated PG-13.