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Monday, July 31, 2017

SHOWSTOPPERS



(Anthony Stonier)

(Review by Keith Millar)

If you are a music lover - and who isn’t? - then the Rhumbelow Theatres in Durban, Kloof and Pietermaritzburg should be the destination for you. Each weekend, Durban’s leading musicians present excellent revues that include great music from all genres. Be it rock, jazz and blues, soul, folk or music from the musicals, you should find something to satisfy your tastes.

This weekend it was the turn of veteran Durban performer Anthony Stonier to entertain at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Durban.

Stonier is perhaps best known for his many appearances as one of the Dames in Durban’s regular Christmas adult panto. However, he is also a fine singer with a strong and versatile baritone voice and a love for the music from the world’s great musicals.

Over the years, he has devised several revues showcasing this music in different combinations. This time he has called his compilation Showstoppers and it features the songs which, when first heard, has had such an impact on the audience that they have broken into spontaneous applause and brought the show to a stop.

In all, his production included 20 songs, each from a different musical, and incorporated many of the most memorable songs of all times. Included in the programme is Summertime from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, If I Were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof, Memories from Cats, Mr Cellophane from Chicago, Dream the Impossible Dream from The Man of La Mancha, Master of the House from Les MisĂ©rables, Oh What A Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma, Hello Young Lovers from The King and I, Bring On The Clowns from A Little Night Music, Maria from West Side Story and People Who Need People from Funny Girl.

Stonier performed the music to backtracks. Although they were of good quality and fully orchestrated, I felt that the show would have benefited if some of, or perhaps all, the music was sung with the accompaniment of a piano. I am a great advocate of live music and I feel this would have given the show some personality and the pizzazz it lacked.

As it was, there was a sameness about all 20 songs and I felt that it would have been no different had I sat at home and listened to CD’s on my sound system.

Showstoppers was on at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo for this past weekend only. However, if you are a fan of show music, I suggest you keep your eye out for Anthony Stonier. He is sure to be back with another compilation soon.

Rhumbelow Durban is situated at 42 Cunningham Road off Bartle Road in Umbilo. For more information contact Roland on email roland@stansell.za.net or visit http://events.durbantheatre.com– Keith Millar