Monday, July 13, 2009

footloose and fancy free - dang-de-dang-de-dang-de-dang

Opening nights at The Civic are usually well attended by local celebs and last night's Footloose opening saw its fair share of Isidingoers, Lion players (the SA variety) and the theatre crowd (Des and Dawn, naturally, Samantha Peo), who are I must say huge supporters of local talent. People were talking about Aspects of Love and how they didnt enjoy it very much but the overall consensus was that Footloose was a great little show ("high energy"they called it, and so I should think. The Footloose song was one of the catchiest ones to come out of the 80s and just that catchy dang-de-dang-de-dang-de-dang beat is enough to get anyone's feet tapping and their best 80 dance moves bursting out of the closet). I went with friend Addi Lang, who runs new casting agency Caitlins Castings and we bumped into Elena Argirys, whose husband Lambros is involved in the News Cafes. Not only had Elena signed her kids up with the agency, but we were all sitting in the Civic's News cafe at the time. Hows that for coincidence? Plus I had seen the kids the day before at Mole Cottage at Inanda where the Greek Lycaeum Club had held a breakfast for its members. Both have the cutest little round faces and look adorable, obviously inherited mum and dad's good looks. A pre show coffee was in order just to warm up before the show!

Loved bumping into one of the friendliest new faces around, Isabella de Villiers who is a presenter on Flash, SABC3's new entertainment and celebrity programme. She's a Durban girl originally, which explains the friendliness, and has a TV producer's background. Its tough to be in front of the cameras instead of behind them, she says, as she can now have no say as to the editing process. Fortunately her producer has great ideas. People keep telling me they saw ME on Flash a few weeks ago (looking as large as a house I am sure) laughing my head off. That's better than Top Billing, who relentlessly edit me out even when I am thin.

Speaking of which I decided it was time to bury the hatchet with Lizzie Staunton from TB, who I discovered has had a very tough life, hence her prickly disposition and tendency to rub people up the wrong way. Finally understanding this I greeted her and her companion Stephen Falcke. Stephen has been anti-me for the past six years or so, due to his affiliation with Lizzie and decided to show his claws, despite the olive branch. ""You're not dressed up tonight at ALL," he said. "I thought you got dressed up to go out for a hotdog". When I didnt rise to the bait he tried again. "So what publication do you write for?"he inquired. "I don''t think I've ever read it. There was an interview with me once but I think I missed it. How long have you been working there?" Shame, it was a brave attempt but I was positively glowing with good will to all mankind so it all slid comfortably off me. Pity as Stephen and I used to be the best of friends and he only had fulsome praise.

Loved Carlo McFarlane in the leading role, his dance moves took away the desire to see Kevin Bacon on stage. Speaking of which Alan Ford told me of a dinner party game, called 6 degrees away from Kevin Bacon. You have to be a huge movie buff to play it though. You can start off with a character from the Colour Purple for example, like Oprah Winfrey and then mention another actor they played with in another movie. Inevitably the link ups lead to Kevin Bacon, who seems to have acted with everyone in Hollywood at some stage of his career!! Of course Footloose was naturally the movie that tipped him into the limelight

Great idea for my next dinner party...

The role played by Tiaan Rautenbach was a delightful cameo role of Willard Hewitt, the tongue tied cowboy who "can't dance" (you would have thought he would fit in just fine to Bomont, the town where dancing is forbidden by law). Footloose the musical was even more delightful than Footloose the movie, I decided. With all the "boot scooting", it was a delightfully yee-haaa evening and prompted one to rush out and hire the movie immediately. Who knew that the 80s anthems Let's Hear It For the Boy, Holding Out for A Hero. Somebody's Eyes and Almost Paradise were all from this classic movie? Bernard Jay had promised me "all the songs" and we were not disappointed! Now all I have to do is learn to dance like a cowgirl ...

The theatre was full, even if it was a press and celeb night, proving that South Africans are going to the theatre like never before. Addi bumped into her friend Ivor, who had been her director at Sun City when she was still a showgirl in feathers so they had lost to catch up on, and I saw friends Winnie Wong and Melissa Lai who I haven't seen all year. They vowed they had tried to get hold of me but I never answer "no numbers". Theres a great new dim sum spot in town, in Cyrildene they told me, run by a chef who used to work at Melissa's dad restaurant Marco Polo in Montecasino. We have to take 5fm's Jennifer Su there. Jen is a dim sum devotee, as she lived in Hong Kong, the dimmies capital of the world.

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