Country, folk and acoustic pop-rock merge under the rather loose and awkward title of Moonshadows for this new compilation musical show, booked in until June 24 at Durban’s favourite supper theatre venue.
To say this is one of the best productions presented at this casual venue would be a lie, but it is slick, very well lit by Michael Broderick and, with its wide mishmash of songs – varying from the hits of Dolly Parton and The Waterboys to Johnny Cash, John Cougar Mellencamp and the Eagles – certainly adds up to an enjoyable show.
Kudos to an enthusiastic and versatile cast headed by four lead vocalists and two impressive singer-guitarists in Jason Guile and Johan Liebenberg.
Guile steals the show, as he did in the previous Gateway Barnyard successes, All You Need is Love and Dancing Queen, impressing not only by flitting constantly between a half dozen or so different guitars but wowing on vocals for Desperado, Jack and Diane and To Love Somebody.
He is also a crowd-pleaser on banjo for a fun Duelling Banjos, a duel with guitarist Liebenberg and leggy violinist Tagan Bailie, who crops up throughout the show.
Seasoned Percy Smith, amiable Shaun V, feisty 2003 Idols finalist Petro Liebenberg (Johan’s wife) and Zimbabwean singer Samantha Tirivacho handle most vocals, and all have their stellar moments, Johan Liebenberg stepping into the solo spot for the Johnny Cash songs Folsom Prison and Ring of Fire.
In an array of good, often very sexy costumes – love the brown leather minis, girls, and the silver-glittered suits, boys – the show is presented on a stage with a striking full-moon and stars backdrop.
Helping to present a mix of songs that includes an excellent rendition of Hotel California, a robust The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Adele’s Someone Like You (a high point for Tirivacho) and Shaun and Petro’s From This Moment, are musical director Raymond Verster on keyboards, Mark Freel on bass and Chad Harbott on drums.
If there are any lowlights they are probably Tirivacho’s croaky Morning Has Broken and a too-strident Bridge Over Troubled Water, by Petro and Tirivacho, although the audience seemed to enjoy the delivery of both songs at last Sunday afternoon’s show.
Other hits featured in the production include Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy, Lady Antebellum’s I Need You Now, Shania Twain’s Honey, I’m Home, Ray Stevens’s Sunday Morning Coming Home, Kenny Rogers’s The Gambler and Kid Rock’s All Summer Long.
Tickets for Moonshadows cost R135 for performances from Wednesday to Saturday, and R100 each every Tuesday night and at Sunday matinées. To book, call the theatre at 031 566 3045.