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Saturday, February 24, 2018


(Anthony Stonier)

Quite Frankly has taken Stonier to a new level. This is a must for lovers of Sinatra music. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Directed by Thomie Holtzhausen at the amiable and intimate stage at Club Altitude in Stamford Hill, Quite Frankly is a one-man show featuring Anthony Stonier. It pays tribute to the music of Frank Sinatra, one of the most influential and popular artists of the 20th Century.

Stonier is a legendary figure in Durban Theatre. He has a long-term and impressive history, having appeared in umpteen cabaret or one-man shows and as the outrageous panto dame in adult pantos.

However, Quite Frankly has taken Stonier to a new level. This is a new Anthony Stonier we are seeing – relaxed and confident, proving that he can take on Sinatra numbers with charm and respect. His articulation has always been faultless and he presents an intelligent interpretation of the time-honoured lyrics. His breathing is strong and controlled and he is able to use his lower register with ease which can be seen in numbers like I Love Paris and Ol’ Man River (a huge favourite with the audience!)

He moves easily through this challenging variety of songs, most of which his audiences will know as well as he does! No room to improvise here!

Sinatra was an icon and adored by millions, despite suggestions that he had links with the Mafia. He recorded over 1,800 songs and just a selection of them are in Quite Frankly - because there’s not enough time in two hours to cover Sinatra’s entire repertoire! His life spanned nearly a century and the show features numbers like You Make Me Feel So Young; Luck be a Lady; Putting on the Ritz; Smoke Gets in your Eyes, Witchcraft; Where Are the Clowns and My Way.

There are also the songs that paid tributes to major cities such as Paris, Chicago and New York.

Holtzhausen and Stonier have incorporated some fancy footwork – “I taught Gene Kelly everything he knows” quips Stonier – as well as light-hearted comments and irony into the introduction to the numbers. There are also interesting facts about the musical scene of the times.

The backing tracks are excellent – no electronic instrumental compilations here but sweeping or toe-tapping jazz accompaniment from real orchestras and bands. Arshaad Moosa is in good control of sound and lighting.

Quite Frankly runs until March 3 with shows on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at onStage @ Altitude. The show starts at 19h30 but doors open at 18h30 and patrons are welcome to bring snacks/picnic basket along. There is a cash bar.

This is a must for lovers of Sinatra music. Only a few more performances at Club Altitude. Tickets R100pp booked on or phone Holtzhausen on 064 476 9533.

OnStage @ Altitude! is situated in Club Altitude at 25 Silver Avenue (off Umgeni Road) in Stamford Hill in Durban. For those nervous about entering what could be seen as a dubious area at night, there is safe parking with a number of car guards on duty. Within seconds, you are in Stamford Hill and out on main roads. For more information, contact 074 157 6937. – Caroline Smart