She may be the apple of his eye, but she certainly hasn’t fallen that far from the tree either. Audiences at the upcoming musical revue Showtime 2015: Walkin’ Happy, which opens in Port Elizabeth this month, will see well-known financial adviser Paul Leonard – the guest star of the show – team up with his 15-year-old daughter, Crystal.
Leonard said he had been doing musical theatre since his school days. “I’ve been singing for nearly 40 years and I’ve always enjoyed myself. There was a time when I was heavily involved in the arts, for 10 years running, but four years ago I decided to take a step back because rehearsals can be gruelling and often clashed with my work schedule.”
Leonard admitted he might have had a bit of an influence on his daughter’s love for the performing arts.
“Everyone in my family plays a musical instrument, but Crystal was the only child who showed any interest in performing,” he said.
Crystal said watching her father on stage during his earlier theatre years made her get into drama.
“I saw my dad on stage and saw how much fun he was having, and wanted that for myself. I’ve been in many plays at my school, Pearson High School, and with the Rother-Swain Drama Studio.
“I would love to take my performances to a professional level and make a living from it, but I know there will be challenges and I am willing to face them head-on as I am not naive about the lives some actors lead,” the witty girl said.
Proud dad Leonard said he enjoyed working with his daughter during their rehearsals, while Crystal said working with her father had been “the most special thing” and she cherished the experience.
In the show, during a song titled Come Dance With Me, Crystal asks her father to dance and he, granting her wish, starts dancing.
The show has been scripted and produced by Bob Eveleigh and salutes the songbook of Sammy Cahn, who wrote popular songs such as Ain’t That a Kick in the Head and Come Fly With Me.
The show opens at the Savoy Theatre in Adcockvale on January 26 and runs till the 31st. It features comedy from some of the funniest Showtime routines of the past 24 years.
The cast consists of 12 core members between the ages of 15 and 20. Bookings open at Computicket on Tuesday.
– Nomazima Nkosi