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This blast to Broadway’s past is no drag

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TO NDR baptie and Quihampton

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BACK IN TIME: Greg Baptie and Allan Quihampton in Bent Broadway. RIght, pianist Trevor Gandy.

BENT BROADWAY

DIRECTORS: Roland Stansell and Derek De Froberville

CAST: Roland Stansell, Allan Quihampton, Derek Pearce, Greg Baptie, Derek De Froberville and Trevor Gandy (pianist)

VENUE: Rhumbelow Theatre, Cunningham Ave (off Bartle Rd)

RATING: ***

FLAMBOYANT wigs, outrageous costumes and over-the-top make-up. These are things we love about Broadway. Offering some of the best tunes, the Family Players and Friends bring you Bent Broadway. The show takes you through the good, the timeless and the almost forgotten songs that made Broadway famously infamous.

Comprised of two acts, the hilarious comedy drag act gives you a taste of the some of the most memorable productions, such as Annie, Saturday Night Fever, Cats, Phantom of the Opera and more, and is performed by the entertainers who mimic the lyrics – although they alter them a bit, making it all very witty.

The second half includes hits such as Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Mamma Mia! and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

The crew are highly talented and entertaining. The outrageous costumes cause laughter each time a cast member appears on stage. Stansell, in particular, had the crowd in stitches with his comical costume changes, crazy wigs and expressions as he made his grand appearances. In fact, all cast members play their parts well and should be commended.

The make-up was as over-the-top as it should be and they pulled it off magnificently.

Pearce’s mimicking is spot-on. He even interacted with a few of the men seated in the audience, creating loads of laughter, which everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy.

The same can be said for Quihampton and Baptie, who do a great job throughout the show. However, I felt a bit disappointed that for most of the show the cast were lip-synching and we didn’t get to hear them perform live. Some of the audience members shared my sentiments.

One thing is for sure, though: there was not a single empty seat on the day I attended. The cosy theatre filled up nicely and the cheers and applause went on and on as the Family Players strutted their stuff on stage.

All in all, Bent Broadway is an enjoyable production that features some fun-filled festive drag acts.

• Catch Bent Broadway on Dec 28 and 29 at 8pm and Dec 30 at 6.30pm. Venue opens 90 minutes before show for picnic dinner. Cash bar available (no alcohol may be brought on to premises). Cunningham Ave, off Bartle Road, Umbilo. Tickets: R100 at Computicket or call Roland at 031 205 7602 (h) or 082 499 8636, e-mail roland@stansell.za.net


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