Durban band Gangs of Ballet

Durban - Shows in tribute to pop and rock icons as well as salutes to Broadway and Hollywood stars are among productions secured for the Barnyard Theatre at uMhlanga for the New Year.

In addition, the venue at Gateway Mall will be featuring performances by hit acts such as Gangs of Ballet, Prime Circle, Chris Chameleon, Steve Hofmeyr, The Blarney Brothers and comedian Nik Rabinowitz.

Opening the new year will be Elvis Forever, a tribute to the king of rock ’n’ roll that slots in from January 14 to 26.

This production captures the onstage excitement of Elvis Presley’s greatest performances and energetically reproduces hits spanning the 1950s,’60s and ’70s Vegas years.

Hits featured include Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, Love Me Tender, If I Can Dream, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, American Trilogy, Always on My Mind and Viva Las Vegas.

Slotting in at the theatre from January 28 to March 9 is Forever Young, a production with an 11-member cast that is dedicated to those icons and singers who have died but remain etched in our memory.

It begins with Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper and goes on to include hits associated with Michael Jackson, Louis Armstrong, Barry White, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, Whitney Houston, Michael Hutchence of INXS, Donna Summer and Bob Marley, among others.

Late South African icons are also acknowledged – among them Brenda Fassie, Margaret Singana and Miriam Makeba.

Durban band Gangs of Ballet perform at the Barnyard Theatre on February 24, and comedian Rabinowitz on March 3, after which a colourful party show titled Best Days of Our Lives slots in from March 11 to April 20.

Nodding to five decades of school reunion parties, the show covers songs associated with the classes of ’69, ’79, ’89, ’99 and ’09 . Expect songs made famous by everyone from the Mamas and the Papas and Pink Floyd to Village People, Bangles, Foreigner, Christina Aguilera, Johnny Clegg, Mandoza and Kings of Leon.

The Blarney Brothers Irish trio perform at the venue on March 17, and then on April 7 Dark Side of the Moon, a tribute to Pink Floyd, will be presented by Mel Botes.

From April 22 to June 1, the theatre will present a show highlighting a battle between divas and rockers in Battle of the Sexes, and on April 27 the Johnny Cash Tribute Band will perform in tribute to the famous “man in black”.

Hofmeyr will take to the spotlight on May 23 and 24, followed by a show titled Time Warp, from June 3 to July 20, saluting rock, Broadway and Hollywood hits.

Botes will be back with Old Friends, a salute to the music of Simon and Garfunkel on June 15, and the following night will present No Direction Home, a tribute to the musical magic of Bob Dylan.

From July 22 to August 31, the popular venue will present Born to Be Wild, a tribute to the wildest rock stars of our time.

On July 26 and again on August 2, 9 and 16, Kidz Rock, a show paying tribute to kids who rock – Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and others – will have everyone bopping at the Barnyard.

Then, on August 4, the spotlight will be on Chris Chameleon, after which a show titled Searching For Abba will be presented from September 2 to October 12.

The Summer of ’89, the Barnyard’s Christmas show, billed as “the greatest party of all”, will run from October 14 to January 4.

During that period, Riders From the Storm will have its third performance at the Barnyard, on October 20. It’s a well-received show featuring six legendary South African guitarists on one stage – Mel Botes, Robin Auld, Piet Botha, Albert Frost, Valiant Swart and Nathan Smith.

Also note that The Blarney Brothers will perform at the Barnyard again on December 14, and Prime Circle are booked in to entertain there on December 15.

For bookings, call the theatre at 031 566 3045 or send an e-mail to [email protected]

The Mercury