Up-and-coming singers, dancers and comedians can showcase their talent while serving food and drinks. From left, Showtime Events organiser Kurt Annall with local performers Cassie Rae, Courtney Tait and Henco Rheeder.
Durban -  A new platform for performers has popped up and is ready to delight Durban when they showcase their talent while serving food and drinks. 
The man behind the new concept, Durban businessman Kurt Annall, cottoned on to the idea after visiting Ellen’s Stardust Diner in New York, US,  whose waitrons are aspiring Broadway performers looking for their big break. 
“Then I was in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this year  and saw a similar concept at Christoffer’s Singin’ Tapas which is run by a well-known musician and recruits talent who are looking to make a name for themselves. 
“I decided to try the idea here and we are holding a pop-up event for two evenings at the beginning of November. Stardust is an extremely famous restaurant, but it is only for singers and we want to provide a platform for singers, dancers and comedians,  a Stardust with a Durban twist. We even have a comedian  who sings,” said Annall. 
The project swung into action three months ago with auditions taking place. 
“We held auditions and we didn't expect such a big response. The talent that came has made it so difficult to choose our 10 performers for the first event. I didn't realise we had talent like this in Durban until we opened the door,” said Annall, adding they searched for real talent and not simply karaoke performers.  
The final list includes some of the city's freshest talent, from amateurs to professionals, looking for that break. The line-up includes a trained flamenco dancer who has just got back from her travels in Spain who will be singing and dancing, as well as a South African singer who has recently returned from New York.
Annall said the menu for the first two shows would be tapas and a dessert.
“I think this is a first for Durban and going forward, whether we take it to a restaurant or corporate function, we want to keep it fresh by changing around performers and menus,” he said.
While having a background in business development, Annall also owns a catering company and so has valuable experience in the dining industry. 
He said the entertainment element of the evening would not be intrusive for diners.
“Looking at Ellen’s Stardust Diner and Christoffer’s, the entertainment is sporadic and it’s all evening instead of a sit-down type of show. 
“There is background music while there is no entertainment and performances only last 3-5 minutes, so they are fairly quick – which is why patrons at Ellen’s and Christoffer’s don’t feel as though the performances are intrusive. Our entertainers would obviously be more likely to engage with a table which is not eating at that moment.
“It’s not like a stage, more like a runway.”
The shows are being hosted by Durban singer Ruan Geldenhuys, a familiar face from the former Barnyard Theatre. 
The two shows are being held on November 4 and 11 at Parkhill Bowling Club in uMhlanga. Tickets cost R200, which include tapas and dessert. For more information, go to www.showtimeevents.co.za

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