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Wednesday, October 9, 2013


(Lyle Buxton & Marion Loudon)

A must for country music fans. (Review by Keith Millar)

The elegant Heritage Theatre in Hillcrest has become one of the mainstays of contemporary music entertainment in KwaZulu-Natal. It has a proud record of producing excellent shows which cater for all musical tastes. With their current show, Country Roads, it is the turn of all the country music fans.

Country Roads features a laid-back Lyle Buxton and the ever-popular Marion Loudon.

On a stage nicely decorated with hay bales, swing doors and American flags, they create a pair of comic and endearing red-neck characters, Ly’all and Ellie-May. With broad accents and endless one-liners they have a ball as they take their audience through the ups and downs of their courtship.

Of course, along the way they pump out a whole string of country music hits to illustrate the story. They start with Cotton Fields (Credence Clearwater Revival) and among many others they run through Little Bitty (Alan Jackson), What Cowgirls Do (Vince Gills), Grandma’s Feather Bed (John Denver), Just a Kiss (Lady Antebellum), Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under (Shania Twain), Give It Up Or Let It Go (Bonnie Rait), Kid Rock’s Sweet Home Alabama and of course the title song Country Roads from John Denver.

Lyle Buxton has a very pleasing singing voice and loads of character. He is particularly good when presenting Tequila Makes Her Cloths Fall Off and Margaretville. Marion Loudon is all bubbly charm, and legs that go on forever. She shows once again why she was voted the Mercury Theatre Awards Theatre Personality of the Year for 2012.

The producers have assembled a very talented band for this production. Callie Thompson is the musical director of the show. She also plays the keyboards with aplomb, and does her share of singing. The gifted Andy Turrell is on pedal steel and electric guitar while Nux Swartz plays acoustic guitar and mandolin. Anita Ruscoe plays the fiddle and is responsible for a couple of breathtaking solos during the show. Jill (Baby Shoes) Murraybrown is a machine on bass and the drumming is in the hands of Francois Hardy.

The Heritage Theatre menu has been spiced up for the occasion and features dishes such as Texas Chili, Cowboy Wedge, Veggie Quesadilla, Jalapeno Chicken and Frontier Pudding.

I opted for the Texas Chili as a starter. It was spicy, cheesy and with a bit of a kick. My wife had the Cowboy Wedge which is a salad, but with plenty of bacon and chopped egg. Our mains were Bourbon Braised Pork Neck Steak for me which was excellent as usual and Veggie Quesadilla for my wife. I am not convinced that any cowboy ever ate vegetarian but my wife was very pleased with the dish.

Country Roads is a must for all country music fans and quite frankly the show is so well presented that there is no reason why all music fans would not enjoy it. Support live music. Support local performers. Country Roads will be on at the Heritage Theatre in Hillcrest until Sunday (October 13). Tickets R195 (R65 on Sunday). The price includes a two-course meal. There is a show-only option for R120.
Bookings on 0317654197. - Keith Millar