Centrestage - Entertainment Port Elizabeth

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the shows

magnificent7 cape town


The power-packed production features the music of favourites Queen, The Bee Gees, The Rolling Stones, Abba, The Beach Boys, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones! Presented by Centrestage, the hit show comes to the Cape in the wake of a record-breaking 25 000 ticket season in the Eastern Cape and a month's sell-out run in Durban, where critics hailed it as "the hottest ticket in town!"

The music of the 7 bands is recreated with painstaking precision by the astonishing 9-piece Centrestage All-Star Band from Port Elizabeth. They deliver an authentic and high-energy interpretation of each of the individual performance styles of the bands, complete with changing costumes and audiovisual backdrops. "By returning to the exact sounds and arrangements of the original songs, the band replicates the feel that one would experience if you were to see these sixties and seventies bands live on stage today", says the show's producer and Centrestage owner Gary Hemmings. "The reasons for the success of the Magnficent 7 show lie in the conviction and infectious sheer enjoyment that the performers display while on stage, their versatility and individual genius - and the popularity of the music which they perform", he continued.

The Centrestage All-Star Band is so named because they originate as a group of individual entertainers who each have careers of their own under the Centrestage corporate entertainment banner. They are a multi-talented group who all sing and act as crowd-engaging fronting entertainers; at the same time, each is a consumate musician in their own right.

Musical director Donovan Hattingh's superlative guitarwork is a dead-ringer for Brian May's searing Queen solos. Funnyman Gino Fabbri, who is also a popular comedy MC and cabaret/comedy entertainer, is a superb drummer who has his musical origins with the SA band Emminent Child. Fabbri also gives a crowd-pleasing performance as Mick Jagger in the Rolling Stones segment. Second guitarist and vocalist extraordinaire Wayne Kallis is also superb at engaging the audience - he provides the raw energy needed to emulate Creedence's John Fogarty. Mike McAully completes the rhythm section on bass with keyboard duties split between Candy G and Rory McLaren. McLaren is a white-hot keyboard maestro who also recently fronted the band's Queen tribute "We Are the Champions" as Freddie Mercury. His diverse portfolio ranges from tributes to Robbie Williams, Elton John and Michael Buble to his recent Josh Groban tribute show which opened at the Grahamstown festival this year. Andre Strydom acts as traveling musician when his colleagues are up-front entertaining - he moves from fronting vocals on the Bee Gees segment to drums and bass. Andre's remarkable falsetto is highly convincing as a Barry Gibb cameo - Andre recently fronted the Centrestage All-Star Band in their critically acclaimed sellout Bee Gees tribute Staying Alive.

Backing vocals are handled by seasoned performer Donna Africa, who along with Lelanie Fourie, bring the music of Abba to life.

The lighting design for the show is handled by Durban's Mike Broderick. "From a production point of view, the challenge is to create a completely different look and feel for each segment of the show", says Broderick, "and at the same time to ensure that one stays true to the essence of each band". "What distinguishes the Centrestage All-Star Band from many others", says musical director Donovan Hattingh, "is the way in which the band excels on some of the numbers which were actually created in the studio with multiple vocal overdubs rather than regularly performed live. "Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and The Beach Boys Good Vibrations are examples of some of the stand-out songs which the original bands seldom attempted live themselves, but which have become firm audience favourites at our shows."

An evening of wonderous fun and great memories awaits - after all, who can forget being mesmerised by the feel-good surfing harmonies of Beach Boy classics such as Barbara-Anne, Surfing USA or California Girls. Or being moved to Bee Gees gems such as How Deep Is Your Love, To Love Somebody or Too Much Heaven, before taking to the dance-floor when the disco era took over with Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive and Abba's Dancing Queen and Mamma Mia ! It is nearly impossible to choose a favourite Beatles song - remember Can't Buy Me Love, She Loves You, Hey Jude and Obla Di Obla Da! Comedian Gino Fabbri relinquishes his drums to Andre Strydom to have fun with die-hard rocker Mick Jagger's Satisfaction, Jumping Jack Flash and Honky Tonk Woman, while Credence Clearwater Revival is always a crowd-pleaser with iconic songs such as Bad Moon Rising, Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Proud Mary, Down on the Corner, Midnight Special and Hey Tonight, amongst others. The sweeping harmonies of Freddie Mercury and Queen in songs such as Somebody to Love, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and I Want to Break Free completes the lineup of popular bands portrayed in the 2 hour long show.

So if 7 is your lucky number, be sure not to miss out on the musical celebration which is without question The Best of the Very Best!

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