national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, February 18, 2019


There are highly focused and strong performances from every member of the cast in this high energy show. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Running at The Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya is Hollywood Hits which is directed by Andrew Webster and choreographed by Zia James. It pays tribute to the most popular songs from the greatest movies to hit the big screen; songs that have become as iconic as the films themselves.

Appearing in a smart outfit of red velvet jacket with fancy embroidered lapels, black trousers and top hat, the genial host of the show and lead vocalist Donovan Yaards gets the show off to a good start. He is joined by fellow vocalists Sanele Mkhize, Kyra Green, Candice Kennedy and Savanah De Beer, and they launch into The Greatest Show from The Greatest Showman and set the mood for an impressive playlist of over 20 numbers.

Against background visuals which regularly feature the 20th Century Fox logo, the show moves through Hollywood hits of the last 50 years. Yaards reminds us of the journey from bioscopes, drive-in cinemas and popcorn to today’s Netflix. The show also pays tribute to the quality of songs that have come from animation/children’s movies.

Kennedy, clad in elegant blue sequins gives a powerful rending of the James Bond classic, Diamonds are Forever with Mkhize, equally elegant in a James Bond-style suit, following with Live and Let Die.

With the audience now firmly in movie mode, Green and de Beer bounce into Fame with Yaards in energetic form with Footloose.

(Savanah de Beer)

With Grease having just celebrated its 40th anniversary and acknowledged as the top grossing movie in the history of the US, Hollywood Hits paid tribute with You’re the One that I Want, Greased Lightning and Summer Lovin’. The latter featured Savanah de Beer. At 17, she is the youngest member of the cast but this young lady is going to go far. Her stage presence is excellent, she has a good voice and she handles the lyrics with respect. I really enjoyed her in Take My Breath Away from Top Gun and with Kennedy in Mama Mia.
The show has an excellent rock-solid band headed by the inimitable John Ellis on guitar and vocals. His presentation of Purple Rain was excellent proving his mastery of his instrument. Another definite showstopper was his performance of Radio Gaga. On keyboards and vocals is the genial Evan Cullum who gave us Crocodile Rock in Elton John style with much fervour! Trevor Donjeany is on bass with Dillan Kanny on drums.
 (John Ellis)

There are highly focused and strong performances from every member of the cast. I enjoyed Kennedy in This is Me from The Greatest Showman and Mkhize’s rendering of Bang Bang from Shrek. Yaards moved his vocal range to the limit for Night Fever and Green complemented Ellis well in Shallow.

However, while I understand the aim of theatres like Rockwood is to present high-energy party pieces that audiences can participate in, clap and sing along, I would have liked to have seen a little more “light and shade” (contrasts) in Hollywood Hits. There were certain numbers that lacked the essence and message of the lyrics – for instance, a gentleness and awe for A Whole New World; or the pathos required for Love of My Life. Having said that, the audience on Saturday night seemed to have no such reservations!

Hollywood Hits runs at Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya until April 7, 2019. Tickets for Thursdays R99, Fridays and Saturdays R130 and Sunday matinees R130 (under-12’s free and pensioners 50% off)

The venue opens at 18h30 for dinner service, with show commencing at 20h00 on Thursdays to Saturdays and 14h00 on Sundays. No beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) may be taken into the venue.

Rockwood Theatre Sibaya now accepts Edgars Thank U account cards for in house production ticket purchases. Tickets can be booked at or 031 161 0000.

For more information visit or follow Sibaya on Facebook @sibayacasino or on Twitter @SibayaCasino – Caroline Smart