Following a rave-reviewed opening at the 2014 National Arts Festival, Cape Town is in for a treat with the local premiere of South African musical You Bet Your Life! This witty new production will be performed at Alexander Bar's Upstairs Theatre from 5 to 21 March (except Sundays) at 7pm nightly.
Presented by ROLKSA Productions, the Ovation–award winning team behind crowd-pleasing hits such as I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and EDGES, You Bet Your Life! is a rib-tickling ride on a TV game show with a twist, featuring catchy original show tunes that are guaranteed to get feet tapping.
Performed by fresh young talents Amy Trout (Kat and the Kings); Roland Perold (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; EDGES) and David Fick (EDGES; Marry Me a Little) the show is directed by acclaimed director Drew Rienstra. Choreography for the show is by William Jones.
Writers Fick and Perold are both committed to driving the agenda of new musical theatre writing in South Africa, having each created two original musicals before their collaboration on the book, music and lyrics for You Bet Your Life!.
Cue had this to say about the show: "A funny story about an 80s TV reality game show in purgatory. Great original songs performed by three hugely talented actors. The dancing was good but the singing was extra special. Lone female actor Amy Trout changed costumes and personalities every few seconds but her voice was always fabulous. Go see it."
Poor recently deceased Jonny (Fick) finds himself trapped in a rather unconventional gameshow where scenes from his life are replayed with purgatorial relish. Hosted by the charming Timothy Radcliffe (Perold), the audience is introduced to Jonny’s neurotic mother, his crazy ex-girlfriends, a ferocious Russian drag performer and a host of other characters who all seem bent on keeping Jonny in limbo as Timothy tries to manipulate things to secure his own redemption.
Amy Trout plays all of the female roles in the musical, showcasing her versatility and honey-gold vocals. Her star rose overnight when she was cast as Lucy Dixon in the much acclaimed revival of David Kramer and Taliep Pietersen’s Kat and the Kings. Her performance in the show (at The Fugard Theatre in Cape Town and at Montecasino in Johannesburg) earned her award nominations on both sides of the country: a Fleur du Cap nomination for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Musical, and a Naledi nomination for Best Newcomer. Amy also produces for TV and teaches English and Drama.
Roland Perold is an accomplished actor, musical director and producer and he has crafted a solid niche for himself in popular musical theatre with productions such as I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and EDGES. He has a MMus Degree from Bath Spa University in the UK, and has written two original musicals – Tweet: The Musical, with dramaturgy and direction by Paul Griffiths, and The Last Note, which played in Cape Town, Grahamstown and Bath in the UK. As the founder of ROLSKA Productions, he produces new South African musicals and cabarets. The company won a Standard Bank Ovation Award in 2010 for I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change at the National Arts Festival and was invited to present the award winning song cycle EDGES on the Arena Platform at the 2011 Festival.
David Fick is a writer, performer, director and educator. He has worked as an assistant director to acclaimed theatre-makers Geoffrey Hyland and Janice Honeyman, and has also written and directed two musicals, Over the Rainbow and House of Shadows as well as several musicals for young audiences and performers. Earlier this year, he ran scriptwriting workshops for PANSA Eastern Cape’s Youth Theatre Project, and David is one of the compilers of two volumes of Junkets Publishers’ Now I Am Alone South African monologue books, which was launched at the National Arts Festival’s Think Fest last year. His many performances include EDGES; Stephen Sondheim’s Marry Me a Little; Cape Town Opera’s Lloyd Webber and Rice Spring Bouquet and cabarets such as Affirmation and Seasons of Love.
Drew Rienstra is a theatre-maker, producer, director and vocal coach. He is Artistic Director and Lead Vocal Coach for the Academy of Musical Theatre Cape Town. He has worked with leading talent including actors from productions such as The Rocky Horror Show; The Sound of Music and the upcoming Cabaret, among many others. Drew is the founder and director of Play Club, now in its third year, bringing a host of international plays to SA. He also established the new Film Club, Parlo(u)r Songs and the online publication Connect Stage + Film, community building initiatives now every Monday at Miao. Drew comes to Cape Town via New York and his work across the U.S. includes John & Jen; Rent; All Shook Up; Cabaret; A Chorus Line; The Wedding Singer; Gypsy; Spelling Bee; My Fair Lady and many more. Also the European premiere of Kander and Ebb's Curtains.
In South Africa, Drew was recently musical director for Understudy Blues and he is directing A (Sorta) Love Story at this year’s National Arts Festival.
“You Bet Your Life! is a musical comedy of devilish delight,” says Perold. “Will Jonny be able to convince the audience that he was a good guy? Or will he be stuck in afterlife TV reruns forever? Only a trip to You Bet Your Life! can answer these questions!”
To listen to a taster of this exciting South African production, visit http://www.rolska.com/you-bet-your-life/
You Bet Your Life! will be performed at Alexander Bar's Upstairs Theatre from 5 to 21 March, excluding Sundays, at 7pm. Tickets cost R80 online and R90 at the door. Bookings can be made at online.
Age advisory is PG.
Press Release provided by Christine Skinner.