KALAHARI KAROO BLUES, Baxter Theatre, David Kramer, Hannes Coetzee, Ronnie Moipolai, Oteng Piet
Past Articles by This Author:
BWW Reviews: Moving KALAHARI KAROO BLUES is a Must-See
David Kramer's KALAHARI KAROO BLUES is a follow up to his KAROO KITAAR BLUES concert series of a decade or so ago, which brought together on stage a group of folk musicians to play instruments and perform songs, documenting the cultural history of the marginalised peoples of the semi-desert Karoo region of South Africa. This time, Kramer extends the geographical range from which these musicians are drawn, bringing to the stage an eclectic group of folk musicians and singers who together make magic on stage simply by sharing the music that forms an integral part of their individual and collective identities.
In this edition, Kramer shares the stage with five musicians, supported onstage by a fantastic band (Gammie Lakay and Howard Links on guitars and Wildrew Maya on drums) and the Sonskynsusters (Ruth Hector and Elspeth Davids, who sing backup vocals and play percussion). The value of the band's contribution to this show cannot be underestimated. They are skilled musicians and dedicated ensemble players, as are the Sonskynsusters. And when Hector is given the opportunity to sing a Kramer original, "Calvinia", written as a tribute to Helena Nuwegeld (one of the participants of KAROO KITAAR BLUES who has sadly passed away), she delivers what may be the single most moving performance of the evening.
KALAHARI KAROO BLUES" src="http://southafrica.broadwayworld.com/upload10/447596/KalahariJKKonline791.jpg" alt="Hannes Coetzee in KALAHARI KAROO BLUES" width="233" height="350" />Kramer himself acts as a sort of emcee-cum-conductor, engaging the audience with fascinating details about the instruments onstage and anecdotes about the various performers, each of whom has their moment in the spotlight as the evening progresses.
In the first half, Hannes Coetzee displays a style of playing that Kramer calls 'optel en knyp,' singing and dancing his way into the audience's hearts with his effusive spirit and generous nature. Later in the evening, Coetzee mesmerises the audience with the technique that made him a YouTube sensation, using a teaspoon in his mouth to play slide guitar. When he gets together with Oteng Piet and and the trio jams to "Lekker Ou Jan," you truly realise the power that music has to transcend the boundaries of language and to unite people with vastly different life experiences.
|Stuart Taylor's THE LEARNER HUSBAND BOOK LAUNCH TOUR to Play Baxter Theatre, 7/2-6|
June 07, 2013
|SACRIFICE to Play New Africa Theatre in Cape Town, May-June 2013|
May 21, 2013
|Comedian Barry Hilton Brings BARRY HILTON B.E.E. – BEST OF EVERYTHING EVER to Baxter Theatre, April 26-27|
April 26, 2013
|Barry Hilton to Bring BEST OF EVERYTHING EVER to Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, April 26-27|
April 19, 2013
|Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Market Theatre in Johannesburg to Host CADRE World Premiere, 3/21|
March 21, 2013
Born and bred in South Africa, David has loved theatre since the day he set foot on stage in his preschool nativity play. He graduated with a Master of Arts (Theatre and Performance) degree from the University of Cape Town in 2005, having previously graduated from the same university with a First Class Honours in Drama in 2002. An ardent essayist, David won the Keswick Prize for Lucidity for his paper "Homosexual Representation in the Broadway Musical: the development of homosexual identities and relationships from PATIENCE to RENT". Currently, he teaches Dramatic Arts at a high school in Cape Town and also freelances as a theatremaker and performer. |