An evening of musical memoriesLesley Stones
Lesley Stones: Pop Quiz is light-hearted froth for a fun night out.
“Ooh, I know that song, it’s, er…” If that sounds like you listening to the radio, you’ll be absolutely in your element at Pop Quiz.
A live band and four singers work their way through various musical memories with a lot of help from audience members called up onto the stage. There are prizes for the audience too, if you know your music, which varies from the 60s through to the present day.
On opening night the room was filled with actors, producers and other theatrical types who all feel more at home on the stage than in the audience. Would it still work with an ‘ordinary’ audience that may be of the quieter, less flamboyant variety, I mused. “Of course,” my pal replied. “This isn’t frumpy Fourways, this is the south. Everyone will be dying to get picked.”
That’s the benefit of staging a show in a casino, I suppose. While it is a stage show, it certainly isn’t theatre, and it needs an audience of people out to make a good time for themselves, not sit back passively and wait to be entertained.
In fact I doubt Pop Quiz would work in any another theatre, really. The Globe at Gold Reef City is decked out as a supper club with the audience sitting around tables to eat and drink while they watch. The bar service is impressively slick and speedy, which also helps to lubricate the vocal chords and loosen any inhibitions of the viewers nicely.
It’s a little disconcerting to be on eye level with the collective groins of the singers, but you soon get used to it.
The four performers are suitably lively and bubbly and enormously enthusiastic, and have a long track record of musical theatre behind them. Pierre van Heerden, Phumi Mncayi, Londiwe Dhlomo and Natasha van der Merwe all sound smooth but powerful as they belt through a large repertoire, working well as a team and equally adept at solo numbers.
They did a great cover of Come Together and made all the songs enjoyable, with none of the mangling that sometimes happens in cover-version shows.
The songs are chosen partly by the audience by spinning a wheel to pick a colour theme or choose from categories like boy bands or rock bands. Then the band strikes up, the singers strike a pose, and the competitors write down as many of the numbers as they know.
At R80 a ticket it’s pretty cheap and extremely cheerful.
Pop Quiz runs at Gold Reef City’s Globe Theatre until December 29.
Lesley Stones is a former Brit who is now proudly South African.
She started her career by reviewing rock bands for a national UK music paper, then worked for various newspapers before spending four fun-filled years in Cairo, where she ended up editing a technology magazine.
Lesley was the Information Technology Editor for Business Day for 12 years before quitting to go freelance, specialising in travel & leisure writing and being opinionated about life in general. Her absolute passions are travel, theatre, the cinema, wining and dining.
Web site: http://www.lesleystones.co.za
Gold Reef City, Ormonde Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa