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Saturday, February 9, 2019


(Pic by Barry Meehan)

There is no doubting that both Marianthe Panas and Bernelee Frick have outstanding talent, and once they get out into the professional arena, they should go from strength to strength with the right mentoring. (Review by Barry Meehan)

Listen has been designed to showcase the immense talents of present Crawford College student Marianthe Panas and former Crawford student Bernelee Frick, now studying at University. Performing solo or in duets, they pump out a series of powerhouse numbers from musical theatre and film.

The show has been put together by Crawford College music lecturer and keyboard player Nick Wium, who introduces each number, giving audience members who are not too familiar with the musicals genre a rather detailed background to each song.

Listen got off to a slightly shaky start with Aquarius from Hair. First-night and first number nerves were in evidence, but as the number progressed, things settled down nicely, with Panas and Frick showing off their unique talents. Burlesque was next to be featured, with the Christina Aguilera classic Something’s Got A Hold on Me and a sultry Welcome to Burlesque from Frick.

The show then jumped to Grease with There Are Worse Things I Could Do, followed by Frick’s beautifully soulful version of You must love me from Evita, I Don’t Know How to love him (Jesus Christ Superstar) emotionally performed by Panas, and I Know Him So Well from Chess bringing a somewhat short first half to an end.

The second half gets off to a superb start with Panas displaying her awesome talent, giving us an outstanding version of Caruso in Italian, then following it up with the number she has become well-known for – Don’t Cry for me, Argentina from Evita. Show-stoppers both.

Frick joins her for The Last Night of the World from Miss Saigon, then they move on to For Good from Wicked. I’m Changing from Dreamgirls showed us that Panas can also move when belting out a number, a welcome relief from the normal “stand centre stage and sing” format up to that point.

Les Misérables was the next musical to be featured, with both performers giving us the classic I Dreamed a Dream. Then it was back to Grease and Frick’s Hopelessly Devoted, leading to the finale Listen from Dreamgirls, which brought the audience to its feet for a well-deserved standing ovation.

There had to be an encore, and we were treated to Never Be Enough from The Greatest Showman, which I thought was rather a strange way to end the show.

There is no doubting that both Panas and Frick have outstanding talent, and once they get out into the professional arena, they should go from strength to strength with the right mentoring. I wish them both successful careers, and look forward to seeing them on Durban stages.

A word about the band, Shizam – Alwyn Singh on drums, bassist Sebastian Gilchrist and lead guitarist Shyane Kistensamy - are all accomplished musicians who performed diligently and professionally, allowing the focus to be on the singers. Wium is a very accomplished keyboard player, but needs to tone down his rather flamboyant movements which tend to take away the focus from his protégés.

Listen has three more performances: tonight (Saturday, February 9) at 20h00 and tomorrow (Sunday, February 10) at 14h00 and 18h30.  (Venue opens 90 minutes before show for picnics & drinks)

Tickets R150 (R130 pensioners, students with a valid student card, R75 under 13s and tables of eight or more).

Take along food picnic baskets. Braais will be available. There is limited secure parking and booking is essential. A cash bar is available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises). Rhumbelow Durban is situated at 42 Cunningham Road off Bartle Road in Umbilo.

Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland on 082 499 8636, email (also for group booking discounts of 20 or more) or visit – Barry Meehan