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Sunday, June 23, 2019


(Ruan Geldenhuys & Donovan Yaards)

All in all, a pretty good selection of party music. And party the audience did. (Review by Keith Millar)

The tribute show, Mega Stars of Pop, which will run at the Rockwood Theatre at Durban’s Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom until August 4, 2019, is something of a mixed bag.

The selection of artists featured in the show is rather limited. There is no doubt that they all qualify to be up there in the upper echelons of pop stardom, but with such a wide field to choose from, it would have been enjoyable if the net could have been thrown a little wider. As it is, the show is mostly restricted to only five artists.

Also the performances from the five front-line singers varied from very good to quite awful.

(Right: Evan Cullum)

Examples of the good would be Evan Cullum’s covers of Elton John’s Your Song and Candle In the Wind. They were quite superb and sung with sensitivity and meaning, elements sometimes missing from “Barnyard style” shows where the norm appears to be to belt out everything with no heed to the lyrics. Also very good was the beautiful rendition of Whitney Houston’s I will Always Love You.

On the other hand, the segment just before interval when the entire cast (boys included) get together to sing Tina Turner’s Simply The Best was a hodgepodge worthy of a boy scout jamboree.

In fact in my opinion, there was far too much Tina Turner in the show with everyone being given the chance to don the fright wig and do Tina’s uncoordinated St Vitus’ dance. Songs included Proud Mary, Nutbush, River High, What’s Love and Simply The Best.

Having said that, it must be borne in mind that this is a party show designed to give patrons a fun night out. Judging by the audience reaction at this showing, which included a sprinkling of theatre professionals, they achieved just that. There was plenty of dancing in the aisles and clapping and singing along.

(Left: Michael Jonathan)

Also featured in the show was Michael Jackson performed mostly by Michael Jonathon. This young man has all the moves, including an abundance of crotch grabs. While there is a slight question mark against his voice, he is one of the best Michael Jackson impersonators I have seen.

The cast also got involved in the performance of songs such as Wanna Be Starting Something, Billie Jean, The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal, Bad, and Thriller (complete with the infernal Zombies).

Ruan Geldenhuys took the lead and did well with Elvis Presley songs such as Can’t Help Falling In Love, Suspicions Minds and Burning Love.

From Elton John, along with the two already mentioned, we heard I’m Still Standing, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and Crocodile Rock, while from Whitney Houston there was Saving All My Love and Dance With Somebody.

Also included in the show is Lionel Ritchie’s Dancing On The Ceiling and All Night Long, Queen’s A Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Prince’s Kiss.

All in all, a pretty good selection of party music. And party the audience did.

The Rockwood Theatre management has to be commended for supporting local artists and this is the case again with all members of the tight four-piece band hailing from Durban.

Sitting central stage, a la Elton John, at a white baby grand piano (actually a keyboard mounted in the carcass of a piano) is the talented and urbane Evan Cullum. Around him is Nick Pitman on guitar, Reece Cook on bass and Dillan Kanny on drums.

MC and also on vocals is the entertaining Donovan Yaards. Tall, very slim and camper than camp he reminds me of a slinky toy, or one of those Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube figures you see at filling stations or sports stadiums. The way he is able to move his body in every direction is not normal.

His appearance in thigh-high, high-heel boots in a Tina Turner sequence is hilarious.

Others in the cast are Candice Kennedy, Jae Green, Michael Jonathan and Ruan Geldenhuys.

While it has its limitations, Mega Stars Of Pop is a perfect party show. If you want to go for a jol, or just an uncomplicated super theatre outing, then this could be the one for you

Rockwood Theatre is set within the popular complex of Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom, situated just seven minutes north of Umhlanga. This three-tiered live show and dinner venue has a floor that is wheel-chair friendly and has a wide range of offerings for group bookings, conferences, fundraisers and private functions. The casual dining experience is perfectly complimented with a fully stocked bar of all your favourites. For menu options and seating plan visit the website

Tickets for Megastars of Pop cost R99 per person on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Tickets R130 Friday to Sunday. On Sundays pensioners will receive 50% discount. Children under 12 can watch the show for free throughout the month of June, 2019. Edgars and Jet Thank U Account Cards are accepted as a method of payment for all Rockwood Productions. T & Cs apply. Tickets can be booked at or 031 010 6444. – Keith Millar