It is by now a well-known fact that I am a musical theatre junky. I levelled-up from musical theatre fan many Cats memory moons ago.
So to hear snippets of my favourites performed is more than just a delightful treat, it is a magnificent theatre fix that makes me sit with a goofy smile from the first note to the final encore. On Thursday, 27 August 2015, sitting in Theatre on the Bay for Stage by Stage II, I happely donned such a goofy theatre high expression.
Hearing how my favourite Phantom, Jonathan Roxmouth, embraced the theatre from a young age, as he mapped out his life’s journey by way of musicals, was the theatre equivalent of PVR… He was forwarding to all the best musical notes and pausing at all the right reflection moments.
Joking throughout with his “let’s talk about me” want of applause attitude in his pursuit of the lime light, the now 28 year old Roxmouth also dropped his mask every now and then. With amazing honesty he let the audience glimpse the ‘little’ boy that escaped bullies, as well as the family life memories that still drives (perhaps sometimes even haunts) him after 10 years in the business to always be bigger, better and brighter.
While once again flawlessly performing songs like 'Music of the Night' (Phantom of the Opera) and 'Gaston' (Beauty and the Beast), he also enchantingly introduced the audience to the magic of the Phantom’s sequel, Love Never Dies. With Stage by Stage II, Roxmouth definitely dishes up a magical night of musical escapism… Escapism it is indeed, and as he himself admits, that is the true reason both those on stage and those in the comfy red seats embrace the theatre lifestyle.
After Thursday’s dose of escapism, I have been humming, singing, even dancing to, 'I’m a GNU', just because the memory of Roxmouth brilliantly jumping into character for this slightly goofy number still brings a smile to my face days later!
That he is talented, is no longer open for debate. That he is willing to push himself to where the audience has raised the expectation bar, now also stands true, no matter the décor budget constraints or the required self-choreographed taps and twirls… the latter will make you giggle with delight.
Standing on stage only a talented man and his voice, accompanied by an elegant piano not event Eskom can touch, Roxmouth will sweep you of your musical loving feet with every note that escapes his well trained, velvety, vocal cords. His love for theatre is so contagious that even if you walk in a musical theatre newb, you will leave a musical theatre fanatic 1 hour and 45 minutes later.
Stage by Stage II is not only GNice, it is GNawesome!
You only have until 5 September 2015 to get to Theatre on the Bay to see it, so book your tickets at Computicket today. While you are at it, why not also check out the opening night photos taken by the ticket you can trust.