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neil diamond hot august night tribute



Featuring Andre Strydom & The Centrestage All-Star Band

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Centrestage makes a welcome return to the Port Elizabeth Opera House at the end of May as they say “Hello Again” to a return season of their enormously popular tribute to Neil Diamond entitled Hot August Night.

Fronted once more by the velvet voiced Andre Strydom as the Jazz Singer, the Centrestage All-Star band will again succeed in triumphantly combining the worlds of Las Vegas with that of rock, to provide a night steeped in sentimentality as the familiar Neil Diamond hits are given the Centrestage entertainment treatment.

Musically directed by Donovan Hattingh, who joins Kanya Matomela on keyboards for this show, this is the definitive Neil Diamond show, with music spanning from 1966 to present day.
The Centrestage All-Star Band also take individual turns to strut their stuff, with Gino Fabbri having fun on the Diamond-penned I’m A Believer, Kanya Matomela on Beautiful Noise, while Alan Kozak takes Centrestage with Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon, Stargazer and Robert E Lee. Donna Africa shows her show-stopping caliber on the Diamond hit “I Who Have Nothing”.

However, the spoils go to the incredibly-voiced Andre Strydom, who swaps his Bee Gees falsetto for the deep crooning voice of Neil Diamond with remarkable ease.

Strydom sprinkles gentle love songs in between up-tempo rockers, as evergreens such as Forever in Blue Jeans, Song Sung Blue, Crackling Rosie, Desiree, Soolaiman, America, Longfellow Serenade, I Am I Said, America, Love on the Rocks, Yesterdays Songs and Sweet Caroline make up but a few of the top hits in the 2 hour show.

Included too is his 2009 hit “Pretty Amazing Grace”, which gave Diamond the honour of being the oldest performer to top the US charts – as well as the duet “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Any More”, which will see Caron Strydom joining her father on stage.

The Centrestage band is also filled out with Lani Botha on backing vocals and Mike McAuley on bass.

The Centrestage All-Star band made its debut at the Opera House with its 2006 Hit of the Year - Absolutely Abba, before their productions moved to the Boardwalk’s Amphitheatre.

“We are going back to where it all started!” says enthusiastic Centrestage owner Gary Hemmings.

“I am extremely proud of this particular show - nobody does Neil Diamond like Andre Strydom – he is an international quality performer, with not only the voice to compliment Neil Diamond, but also the heart - it is a great privilege to have him performing in our Centrestage stable”.

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