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SCENE IT: From Broadway to Bird Street give theatre hope

Barbara Loots


From FROM BROADWAY TO BIRD STREET jumps from the 2020 Woordfees stage onto your streaming screens with pure panache. With 265 costumes, 47 creatives and 28 multi-talented singers, dancers and actors, this celebration of 27 much-loved musicals is a treat for any musical theatre lover.

FROM BROADWAY TO BIRD STREET’s performers may mainly be learners, but that does not mean that this production is simply a school production; it’s so much more! It’s professional theatre showcasing talented young performers who are knocking on the stage door of the future with rising-star quality. The impressive ensemble of young Curro Create talents are led by an amazing line-up of professional mentors: Lynelle Kenned, Germandt Geldenhuys, Timothy Moloi, Corlea Botha and André Terblanché. With just this in mind you should already have booked your tickets through Webtickets to delight in this production before its run ends on 10 August 2020.

This grand production with its beautiful lighting and innovative staging presents itself as a source of hope, as it reveals that the love of theatre is still embraced by the youth. More than just a fantastic show, FROM BROADWAY TO BIRD STREET is the promise that theatre will survive, grow and overcome any obstacles that the Fates may present (the horrible Covid-monster included), because there are fantastic young performers in South Africa who simply demand to live out their dreams onstage.

FROM BROADWAY TO BIRD STREET promises to leave you breathless. Kicking off with a mash-up of the musical hits Cabaret and Chicago, you will surely have goose bumps as you settle in to enjoy this walk down musical lane: a live-recorded performance broadcast of such a high standard your heart gets transported to the stages where you wish you could again be part of a live audience —the bonus being that now you can sing along without anyone giving you the evil eye.

Although everything from this smorgasbord of smash-hit-samplings is exuberant-applause worthy, a few moments can be highlighted to predict that you’ll very likely be doing a standing ovation in your own living room during the curtain call.

Geldenhuys as the narrator of the production wittily leads you through the musical highlights while explaining the rules of the ‘game’. He charmingly brings together a collection of songs as an entertaining narrative; a true fan-letter to the art of musical theatre.

If you’ve always wanted to see the best musicals on offer on Broadway and in the West End, FROM BROADWAY TO BIRD STREET is a sampling plate of those stages. Some of my favourite musicals are highlighted with heart-warming numbers from Hamilton, Dear Even Hansen and RENT. An absolute standout moment is the amazing performance of ‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked with Kenned in the role of Elphaba, accompanied by Mia Dippenaar as Glinda —it’s a vivid moment of pure musical pleasure. Another such a jaw-dropping number is 'And I'm Telling You' from Dreamgirls as performed by Phoebe Mgxaji. Fellow mentors Moloi, Botha, and Terblanché similarly impress with their vocals every time they take the stage with sheer theatrical flair. These special mentions take nothing away from the rest of the exceptional singers, actors and dancers who all bring great joy with their performances.

FROM BROADWAY TO BIRD STREET will make your heart smile, not only because of the stellar performances, but also because 10 % of every ticket sold will be donated to the Tribuo fund for artists and technical theatre workers who struggle to make ends meet in this difficult time. Together we can make a difference.

The Curro Create and Wordsmith’s Theatre Factory presented FROM BROADWAY TO BIRD STREET is available for online streaming until 10 August 2020 when purchasing a ticket through Webtickets.


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