Whilst adding the finishing touches to HEADSHOTS, the Cape Academy of Performing Arts' first musical theatre production for this year's Grahamstown Fe...
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From Showboat to Superstar
October 31, 2007
It’s April already and this second newsletter is long overdue! Thanks for all the amazing feedback on my new website, it has really proven to be an awesome and exciting venture. I am currently starring in the new South African Production of Jesus Christ Superstar playing the role of Pontius Pilate. For those of you who saw Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the same creative team has been working on Superstar and it’s bound to be as innovative and edgy as Joseph was.
The pivotal role Pontius Pilate played in the final days of the life of Jesus of Nazareth has been interpreted in literature, film and on stage in many fascinating and very different ways. Portraying him in a musical format calls for further interesting analyses and poses it’s own challenges. One doesn’t get the chance to portray such an extraordinary character on stage very often, and with previews already underway, I’m enjoying it immensely.
But first a little about the last few months! Showboat was a massive hit abroad. I was initially concerned that there was no longer a place for reruns of old classics like this Kern and Hammerstein II American Musical, especially when Europe seems abuzz with the more modern musicals like Rent (now with it’s own Motion Picture) and the current big hit Billy Elliot in London. Spamalot and Wicked opening there soon too. Judging from the audience response to Showboat, I was very wrong. The audience feedback was phenomenal and I have yet to experience standing ovations like the ones we received in Germany.
Our host city Nuremberg is extraordinarily beautiful. The Opera House (our venue for Showboat) was built in 1905 and is considered one of the most beautiful Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) theaters in Germany. Not only is it an attractive architectural work, but its technical and administrative infrastructure is outstanding. They were the perfect hosts to our massive troupe of South African performers.
One of the many highlights of our stay in Nuremberg was our benefit concert for children with AIDS in Africa. From opera to musical theatre to dance, the Showboat cast combined their theatrical skills to raise an amazing 20 000 Euros, about R160 000!
After a hugely successful stadium run of CATS in Oslo in 2003 (attended by none other than original CATS choreographer Gillian Lynne) I was delighted to be back performing Showboat there. This time at Den Norske Opera House. Den Norske Opera is Norway’s largest stage arts and music institution. I was privileged enough to tour the site of their new Opera House which is currently under construction and due for completion in 2008. It will be the largest cultural building in Norway and will serve as an important symbol of what modern day Norway represents as a nation.
One of my favourite attractions in Oslo is the Vigeland Statue Park. I remember how it fascinated me when I was there with CATS, and I had to visit it again. The 'Sinnataggen' statue is it’s most famous, that of a young brat screaming his lungs out. The park leaves a lasting impression on you as you realize how remarkably the statues express every aspect of human emotion. You can see me with my favourites in the Showboat gallery.
Showboat was amazingly received in Norway with packed houses and standing ovations, and will be returning to Europe in June 2006 by popular demand. Unfortunately I will not be onboard due to my commitment to JCS.
Back home in SA, our final season of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ended on high note. Check out our closing night party pics in the Joseph gallery.
That’s all for now. Be sure to check out Jesus Christ Superstar this Easter season and please keep popping in on the site. Don’t be shy to use the guestbook, I love hearing from you.