Port Elizabeth’s Gilbert and Sullivan Society is presenting the musical revue Blast from the Past at the Savoy Theatre from Thursday to Saturday. Society president Rose Cowpar, who is directing the show with vocal direction by Darné Claassen, said it would feature some of the greatest hits of the decades from the 1950s to the ’80s.
“Everyone loves those classic hits that bring back great memories and have you tapping your feet and singing along to every word,” Cowpar said.
The third G & S concert series presentation for the year builds on the format of a Valentine’s Day concert and the more recent Draadloos, a compilation of Afrikaans hits.
“Our concert series is a little bit different from our normal G & S shows, as we select the songs and allocate them to various performers, who then go off and learn them,” she said. “So it’s put together in quite a short space of time but, the thing is, it works!”
In Blast from the Past, for example, she gave a medley of Creedence Clearwater Revival songs to Doron Blackman, a longtime sponsor of G & S productions, who is making his stage debut. “Doron did the arrangements for himself and three other guitarists, then all the boys got together and they came back with a fabulous musical medley.
“They are making my job very easy because they are doing it off their own bat. And then there is another group who are doing a Motown medley.”
She said narrowing down hits to two hours worth was tough as there were so many iconic songs to choose from.
The line-up ranges from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson, Abba, Bon Jovi and CCR to Queen, alongside a little rock and roll, some ’60s Motown, disco classics from the ’70s and more.
The cast of 20 ranges in age from 13 to 72, with G & S regulars Khuselo Gqiba, Anke Staphorst, Phillip Cowie, Emma van der Westhuizen, Charl Vollgraaff, Sean Cady and Cowpar, with Darné Claassen and Roelof Erasmus from Draadloos, “alongside a lineup of fantastic newcomers”.
“We welcome back Derryn Fuller and Yvonne Parker who’ll be joined by Doron alongside Ken Collier, 72-yearold Cathy Scheun and her singing partner Hugh Ashworth, who all gave us goosebumps in auditions,” she said.
“Chanté Meiring, Brad Chamberlain, Cailan van Heerden, Natalie Ferrant, Carmen Alldred and Litha Hewitt-Coleman will all show us just how amazingly talented our PE performers are.”
The show starts at 7.30pm nightly with 2pm and 7.30pm shows on Saturday. Tickets are R80 each or R75 for a group of eight or more, in either row or table seating.
Bookings: Cowpar, 072-906-1977.