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Friday, May 1, 2015


Consummate piano and vocal duo to return to Rhumbelow in October. (Review by Keith Millar)

The Rhumbelow Theatre’s Music Feast (as opposed to fest) has dished up a veritable smorgasbord of musical delights over the last long weekend. However, when one is so spoilt for choice it is easy to overlook a particular delicacy. In this case, the delicacy I refer to is the consummate piano and vocal duo called Lyra Lounge, and their production entitled Aural Alchemy.

Hailing from Gauteng, Lyra Lounge consists of Chris Vale on vocals and Neil Krog on piano. Performing a programme which included jazz standards, classic/pop crossover music and a wealth of musical theatre favourites this unpretentious and uncomplicated duo managed to dazzle and delight all who heard them.

Vale has a versatile and melodious voice with wonderful tone and range. He has received classical training and this ensures perfect diction and breath control. He sings with effortless power and mellifluousness.

Krog is also a classically trained musician and his accompaniment on the piano is subtle, skilled and is perfectly complimentary to Vale’s superb voice.

What was most apparent was the amazing synergy between these two performers. In fact, the title of their show, Aural Alchemy, alludes to this with a definition of alchemy being “a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination”.

In a stand-and-deliver type presentation which included a minimum of chat and a lot of marvellous and memorable and music, Lyra Lounge were both captivating and mesmeric. They do their own interpretation of the music but with great respect and sensitivity.

Their programme included music such as Let’s Do It (Lets Fall in Love) and Anything Goes from Cole Porter, They Can’t Take That Away From Me by Ira and George Gershwin, Tonight by Bernstein and Sondheim, What I Did For Love by Marvin Hamisch, Summertime from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Close Every Door by Andrew Lloyd Webber and If Ever I Would Leave You by Lerner and Lowe.

We also heard Edith Piaf’s atmospheric Hymne à ľamour and beautiful versions of Nella Fantasia, and, from Les Misérables, Bring Him Home.

This is just a small example of what is on offer in a programme which included 29 items.

On the strength of this performance Lyra Lounge has been invited back to the Rhumbelow Theatre in Durban and will be appearing in October 2015. Vale and Krog are supremely talented performers. They are well worth seeing. so don’t miss their show!

In the meantime Rhumbelow Music Feast moves to Pietermaritzburg this coming weekend with performances at the Allan Wilson Shellhole. Shows are as follows:

May 1: Behind The Noise (14h00) and All That Jazz - We Love to Play – Beatroute (20h00)
May 2: And Still we “Rise” (14h00) and Celebrating Our Jazz Heritage (20h00)
May 3: The Story of Rockabilly (14h00) and Rowan Stuart - Acoustic & Electric (18h30)

Tickets R120 (R100 pensioners) and R100 for those booking for three or more shows). Bring food picnic baskets. Limited secure parking available Booking is essential. Bar available (no alcohol may not be brought on to the premises). Book at Computicket or contact Roland on 082 499 8636 or email: – Keith Millar.