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Queen we are the champions tribute show

QUEEN - We are the Champions

"..this production is a must see! " - Bob Eveleigh
"..wow, wow, wow..." - Louise Liebenberg - Weekend Post
"..'n vreugde vir die oor..." - Maricelle Botha - Die Burger
".. total exuberance..." - from Gina - via email

The music of the greatest rock n roll band of all time, Queen, as celebrated by the Centrestage All-Star Band in a show entitled Queen - We Are the Champions.

We Are the Champions is the finale in the Magnificent 7 series presented by Centrestage, which has seen previous successful presentations of tribute shows to the Beatles, Abba, Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Bee Gees all receiving critical acclaim within the last 18 months.

"And what a finale it will be!", says Centrestage owner Gary Hemmings.

"With each presentation, we have tackled more and more complex material - and I truly believe that the Queen salute will be the cherry on the top", he said.

"One of the trademarks of the Centrestage All-Star Band is that we have taken a great deal of care to be true to the original versions of the songs."

Fronted by the highly talented Rory McLaren, with Wayne Kallis picking up some of the heavier songs, and once again musically directed by Donovan Hattingh, the Centrestage All-Star Band is challenged to its limits to recreate the Queen sound authentically.

"The individual band members are all so extremely versatile - we have many aces up our sleeve. Lurking behind the scenes has been the awesome guitar abilities of Donovan Hattingh, who has had to hold back in the previous shows in respect of the particular musical styles."

"Now Brian May's guitar will come blazing forth in all its 6 string glory from the stage - and there is nobody better equipped to exactly mimic the Queen guitar sound than Donovan Hattingh, admirably augmented by Callis", says Hemmings.

Every band member has come of age in the last year - Rory McLaren is singing and playing keyboards as well as he has ever done before. His performance as rock enigma Freddie Mercury follows rave reviews for his one-man show Taking Them Off, in which he saluted 7 music icons.

Bassist Mike McCaully has never sounded better or more solid as he delivers the beloved John Deacon bass lines with aplomb, while Gino Fabbri has been listening to his drummer icon Roger Taylors drum licks since he was 10 years old!

click to enlarge "Our baby in the group, Eloise Potgieter, suddenly shot to fame in the Patricia Lewis talent seach Sterrewag, where she beat out 3500 contestants to come 4th in the country. Similarly Donna Africa has grown to be one of our most in demand corporate entertainers this year. Candy G contributes vocals and second keyboard, with the trio handling the complex Queen backing vocals to a tee"

Another challenge for the group has been that all the Queen songs have been kept in their original, sometimes ridiculously high, keys.

It makes a huge difference that everyone in the band loves the Queen repertoire - and they all clearly enjoy their performances.

Centrestage has also gone to great efforts to step up the productions values for the shows. The sound, which has never sounded better in the Opera House, is mixed by the now permanently employed Centrestage sound engineer Leon Swart, who was the technical genius behind the sound of the group Semi-Sane, known for their Big Borther theme song.

Mike Broderick, the lighting designer from Durban who created magic for the Bee Gees show, is once again lending his hand to creating an entirely new and exciting stage setup and lighting show to augment the over the top music of Queen.

"The emphasis and the huge challenge in the series of shows has been to recreate the live concert feel of each band - to try to get as close as we can to how it would be to see the actual band if they were to perform live today, at the same time discarding any learned bad habits of the past and recreating the idiosyncrasies of their individual sounds." "This is not a play set in another time", says Hemmings, "it is Queen as if they were on stage today - as the tagline for the show says - 'pure, undistilled and absolutely live!'"

click to enlarge

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