Review: Here’s to you – The Simon & Garfunkel Songbook at the Fringe at the vNAF (National Arts Festival). The Curated Programme has been extended until July 16, 2020. The Fringe has been extended until July 31. Scroll down for production credits and ticket info for Here’s to you.
We saw Here’s to you –The Simon & Garfunkel Songbook at Theatre on the Bay, in August, 2019 at Theatre on the Bay in Cape Town. In my review, posted on TheCapeRobyn Facebook page, I wrote that I “was captivated by the scope and depth of the show.” I noted that I am a big fan of tribute shows– tapping along to well-known tunes. With Here’s to You, it was tribute show which made me go wow. It was a stunner with eight piece band. The artists played the instruments and sang; inspired arrangements by Bryan Schimmel, Wessel Odendaal, Daniel Geddes, Matthew Vlok, Jaco van Rensburg and stylish set (Nadine Minnaar) and lighting design. The show received a standing ovation on the night we attended – with bravos being shouted out. Afterwards, people were saying – ‘how amazing was that …what a surprise- we were just expecting a tribute show’.
When browsing the NAF Fringe programme, it was a fabulous surprise to see that the show was recorded live at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre on March 8, 2020. Theatres in South Africa were closed from March 15. Hard lockdown went into effect at midnight on March 26. This film was recorded in that last gasp of a two and half weeks before everything shut down. It is extraordinary to watch this show, filmed in front a full house. Did we actually do that? A full house at a theatre. Imagine! Theatre is about communing and connecting – physically and emotionally. Watching at Theatre on the Bay, we basked in each other’s delight in the foyer – applauding the musicality of the artists – the rendition of Simon & Garfunkel through a hipster vibe. We had “dangling conversations” and spoke about things that “mattered in the borders of our minds”.
In my review, I raved about Hanna So and Phindy Dube. So plays the piano violin and cello in the show. She took my breath away with her solo in Still Crazy After All These years, with Dube harmonizing. I enthused: “She had us gasping…I can’t find the words to describe her voice as it was a fleeting interlude. It is a voice which speaks of reaching for words, notes; longing and searching and embracing the melody…” Look out for Still Crazy After All These years in the film recording, streaming at the NAF.
The camera work is excellent – providing close ups of solos and other groupings. A great deal of the shows at vNAF has been recorded in studios. It is wonderful to see a production that was filmed live – in front of an audience. Impressive recording by The Custom Content Collective. This recording goes beyond a film made for archival purposes. My only quibble is that it ends abruptly. I would have liked to see the audience at the end.
I am posting my review from August 2019 on TheCapeRobyn. Click here to read what I said at a time about that night at the theatre in August 2019. https://thecaperobyn.co.za/review-heres-to-you-the-simon-garfunkel-songbook-live/
POSTSCRIPT: I asked Wessel Odendaal, the producer (VR Theatrical), about what prompted the company to make this quality film recording . He says: “We decided to make a proper film recording when we’ve had some international interest. We didn’t have funds during our first run of the show, but we decided to go all out with a proper recording when we had a 2nd season in Joburg. We hope to get more international interest and hopefully look at future tours of the show.” The company managed to wrap up the Joburg season of the show (March 2020). “We managed to finish the Joburg season, but we had to cancel the Durban and Cape Town legs due to Covid-19. We hope to go back to Durban and Cape Town when this all blows over.”
Here’s to you – The Simon & Garfunkel Songbook
✔ Platform: Virtual National Arts Festival 2020
✔ Programme: The Fringe- extended until July 16, 2020
✔ Tickets: R50
✔ Direct booking link: https://nationalartsfestival.co.za/show/heres-to-you-the-simon-garfunkel-songbook/
✔ Genre: Music of Simon & Garfunkel- twenty hits
✔ Format for the NAF: Recording of live show at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre on March8, 2020
✔ Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes
✔ Language: English
✔ Age Recommendation: All ages
❇ Production details❇
✔ Producer: VR Theatrical
✔ Film recording: The Custom Content Collective
✔ Director: Timothy le Roux
✔ Musical Director: Wessel Odendaal
✔Assistant Musical Director: Daniel Keith Geddes
✔ Musical Arrangements:
Daniel Keith Geddes
Jaco van Rensburg