Cool voices, hot hits, brilliant show

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to ndr candyman Albie Bredenhann Best Days of Our Lives

BEST DAYS OF OUR LIVES

DIRECTOR: Bronwyn Evans

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Chris van der Westhuizen

CAST: Bronwyn Evans (host and vocals) JP Moggee (vocals), Granville Michaels (vocals), Elaine Fourie (vocals) Peyton Claasens (vocals), Nontu Xulu (vocals), Calli Thomson (keyboards & backing vocals) Ralph Martin (guitar and vocals) Kelly Joubert (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Colin Heaney (drums)

VENUE: The Barnyard Theatre, Gateway

UNTIL: 20 April

RATING: ****

REMEMBER the good old days when you were young, wild and free. When your high school career felt like it was the only thing that really mattered in the world? When you wore school uniforms, caught up with your friends daily and created some of the most priceless moments in your life?

Well, if you forgot what that felt like then the Barnyard Theatre’s latest production, Best Days of Our Lives, will jog your memory by taking you on a journey through five decades of school reunions (Classes of ’69, ’79, ’89, ’99 and ’09) celebrating the greatest music and songs of those eras.

The 10-piece cast includes Bronwyn Evans (host and vocals) JP Moggee (vocals), Granville Michaels (vocals), Elaine Fourie (vocals) Peyton Claasens (vocals), Nontu Xulu (vocals), Calli Thomson (keyboards & backing vocals) Ralph Martin (guitar & vocals) Kelly Joubert (bass guitar & backing vocals) and Colin Heaney (drums).

As the director, host and vocalist of the show, Evans does a fine job from beginning to end. She sends the audience into a fit of giggles with her charm and humour as she plays the role of the headmistress.

Throughout the first act, you can expect songs like School’s Out, Stand by Me, Stayin’ Alive, Don’t Stop Believing and Depeche Mode’s Just Can’t Get Enough. While the second act includes tracks such as Candy Man, A Moment Like This, 18 ’til I die, YMCA and Afrika.

Overall, it’s a wise selection of songs which makes the production as enjoyable as it is. There is no time for boredom or mind-wandering in Best Days of Our Lives, as the entire cast is bubbly and energetic. They work well as a team and their synergy with each other and with the crowd is evident.

There are many great scenes, but my favourite was male vocalists Moggee and Michaels performing Take A Chance On Me. Here, the guys were dressed as women and portrayed female qualities as they sang along to the track.

They had the crowd in stitches and it was humour at its best. Songs like Afrika, Jabulani, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and Vulindlela were also a hit with the crowd.

It’s wonderful to see the appreciation of our South African culture. It created an atmosphere like no other as the audience came together to celebrate our diversity and cultural heritage.

The set and costumes from Barnyard Theatre Productions cannot be faulted. The same can be said for Eduard Biermann’s sound and lighting. All-in-all, a thoroughly enjoyable show and interesting storyline suitable for all ages.

• Best Days of Our Lives runs until April 20. Tickets R145 Wednesday to Saturday. Discounted specials of R110 a person every Tuesday night; R100 for Sunday matinee show. Bookings, 031 566 3045 or visit www.barnyardtheatres.co.za

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