The way we were: Legendary diva, Amanda Strydom shared my post from TheCapeRobyn Facebook page from 2017 of the epic concert, Legendary Divas at Artscape. The line-up featured Gloria Bosman, Vicky Sampson and Amanda Strydom. It was a 2pm concert on a Sunday, Workers Day, May.

This is what I wrote – with a bit of editing:

Legendary Divas on Workers Day, May 1, Cape Town

What an upper to attend this sensational concert today, at Artscape –Legendary Divas – with Gloria Bosman, Vicky Sampson and Amanda Strydom. They crooned. They did the rock chic thing and a bunch ofcabaret sets (Amanda – wow). They spoke about dreams and being grateful for what one has– with loads of self-deprecating humour to offset it going into mawkish land.

I was waiting for Sampson to sing My Afrikan Dream. The three divas sang an extract from this iconic number at the end of the concert. What a finish.

My Afrikan Dream

There is some confusion about the provenance of the song. In an interview with Vicky Sampson in 2006, she  told me that she recorded the song in 1995 as part of her second album, Zai. The song was written by former Mango Groove keyboardist, Alan Lazar. When I asked her if she had any idea of the impact the song would make, she said: “I knew it was good song but I had no idea what it would become. Alan said I’ve got this song and I said ‘ok, play it’ and the next thing it was everywhere. It has become kind of my anthem. I have sung it from here to Vienna, to New York.”

A concert to remember

The Legendary Divas was a concert which brought on goose bumps – with three legends.

Publicist Andre Gilbertson was telling me about the logistics of getting the three artists together- and the awesome band- such as Kevin Gibson on drums. Most live in different cities. For instance, musical director Janine Neethling lives in Onrus. Janine is a powerhouse. For the concert, she alternated between keyboard and piano – and sang backing vocals. She was keyed in at all times to the performers – conducting and giving direction. This was concert to remember, beautifully staged – lighting, eclectic mix of songs. I would have liked some more African songbook – and less Afrikaans songs – but this was an Afrikaans festival [the concert was staged as part of The Suidoosterfees]. Awesomeness all round. More please.

POSTCRIPT: I remember telling people about this concert and getting – “Oh well it is on a Sunday afternoon, next time.” That was the kind of answer I got. There was always a next time, wasn’t there? Well, with these three legendary divas, it is kind of difficult to get their schedules lined up, never mind Covid-19. No one knows when theatres will be fully operational and when we will see this type of concert again. There is nothing to beat live. The theatre industry has worked to promote the hashtag #chooselive and now it has all been decimated. I miss the crowds; applause, walking down the aisle and bumping people as one makes one may down the row; doing a Cape Town catch up as one walks. And after, chatting and engaging and relishing what one has just seen on stage. Some shows can be re-created and revived. The Legendary Divas on Worker’s Day, May 1, 2017 was a one off. Tickets were R80-R120.

Image credit: Gloria Bosman. Supplied.