What’s all the drama about?

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ss Evita217 INLSA SATIRICALLY-SPEAKING: Pieter-Dirk Uys has a dig at corrupt, inept and careless politicians in Adapt or Fly. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

The Phantom of the Opera Teatro at Montecasino

Extended to May 20

This is undoubtedly the biggest attraction at the moment and another 30 000 seats have been made available. It deserves all the S’s – sumptuous, scintillating, superb. The music of Andrew Lloyd Webber soars, and the sets and costumes are spectacular, from the eerie underground caverns where the phantom holds sway to the ornate scenery of the operas staged at the Paris Opera House where the artistes teeter between fantasy and reality on the edge of the abyss. Jonathan Roxmouth brings real pathos to the tortured phantom. Other roles are shared, but all are more than worthy. This is a production to savour and remember.

Adapt or Fly

Joburg Theatre Fringe

Until April 29

Pieter-Dirk Uys is back. Thirty years ago, the Nats gave him the title of the show Adapt or Dye. Now the African National Congress Youth League has given him his latest, Adapt or Fly. A great deal has changed… and not much at all. Parliament and “corrupt, inept and careless” politicians are still writing his script. In sharp succession, he takes us through the highlights of the years, capturing the leaders of the times with a quick change of hat, voice and facial expression – Verwoerd, PW, Pik, Piet and the new crowd, Mandela, Motlanthe, Zuma and, of course, the problem child, Malema. Longer sketches from the Cape Flats, Sandton kugelland and others give him scope for more biting and telling commentary. Naturally, Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout has her say. The future awaits, and it’s frightening, but humour is the great distraction. You’ll laugh, perhaps nervously, but you will – and you’ll see yourself in his clear-eyed mirror too.

Funny Business

Alan Committie and Robert Fridjhon

Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre

Until April 29.

A classic farce has a definite formula – lots of doors and preferably lots of beds. This one has eight doors and two beds and the fast-talking, fast-moving cast need them all. After all, when you’re trying to cover up hanky-panky in the honeymoon suite, a couple of cases of mistaken identity, a female vamp on the prowl, a jealous husband with a secret agenda, a confused elderly gent with an illicit aphrodisiac… life definitely gets frenetic. Add the chemistry between quick-witted and sharp-talking comedians like Committie and Fridjhon and it’s a laugh a minute. Never mind, the audience has a ball. Everyone has a ball, even the loo has a ballcock. You get the picture.

Woza Albert!

Barney Simon Theatre at the Market

Until April 22

A South African classic, Woza Albert! set new standards for physical theatre when it was first produced in the apartheid era. In the hands of Mncedisi Shabangu and Hamilton Dlamini, the 2012 production is non-stop energy, mime, movement, quick changes, telling and often poignant snapshots of township life, interspersed (with the donning of a pink nose) with politicians, police and media. Into the mix comes Morena, the Christ figure, at first welcomed and feted by the powers-that-be. But, Morena refuses to fit the frame. From the brickworks of the downtrodden, to John Vorster Square, to Robben Island, he writes his own story. It’s the old, old story. Thought-provoking, minimal, technically excellent, this is theatre at its best.


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