“We will we will rock you / We will we will rock you!”
Close your eyes and feel the beat of this international musical anthem coursing through your veins. Let the sensation of being at a rock concert in the dark amongst hundreds of hard core Queen fans wash over you and allow that exhilarating adrenaline spike to rush to your head.
Now, open your eyes and experience it for real with the thrilling tribute show, Queen – It’s a Kinda Magic at the Artscape Theatre!
A Showtime Management production, It’s a Kinda Magic is a restaging of lead singer Freddie Mercury and his successful band Queen’s 1986 World Tour concert and boy, does it rock. With English actor Giles Taylor starring as the iconic Mercury and Richie Baker, Steven Dennett and Kyle Thompson as his band mates Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor, this show made me feel as if I’d travelled back in time and I was at the actual concert nearly three decades ago.
The repertoire for the evening includes all of the band’s greatest hits, including 'Somebody to Love', 'We are the Champions', 'Another One Bites The Dust', 'Under Pressure', 'Fat Bottom Girls', 'Bicycle Race', 'Don’t Stop Me Now' and more. Not only will you know most of the songs, you might discover a few you didn’t know were Queen originals too!
Taylor shimmies into and out of Mercury’s legendary tight costumes like a pro throughout the two hour show and bares more than enough skin to satisfy the ladies (and men) alike. I, though, totally went weak at the knees seeing this gorgeous man in the Break Free cross dressing costume – with that sexy short skirt and feather boa in hand, Taylor can tickle me pink any day. To quote the song lyrics: “God knows, God knows I’ve fallen in love!” (Yeah, Freud would have a field day with that one ... hee hee!).
Taylor is not an exact doppelganger for Mercury as Kenny Whizz appears to be for Michael Jackson in Showtime Management’s other wildly successful tribute production, HiStory, but he commands the stage with the same chutzpa and panache the late singer did and certainly inspires adoration on the same level with his natural talent as a pianist and three-and-a-half octave vocal range.
Couple that with the fact that, in person, Taylor really is just one heck of a nice guy, as we witnessed during our pre-show Spotlight interview, and it’s totally understandable why fans would be moved to go crazy and throw their underwear at him (as my mother quite wryly put it: “If you see a double D bra fly by you, don’t be surprised!”).
While Mercury may have been the King of Queen, a lead singer is nothing without his band members and to this day May and Taylor are still out there rocking the world with their music. In this production, Baker, Dennett and Thompson shine as the rest of the award-winning quartet, working the crowd up to a fever pitch of excitement with their instrumental magic.
An encore of lesser-known Queen songs ensued but of course, the crowd went totally insane for the rapturous performance of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Finally, we all could jam out to our favourite song with other fans and not just sing into our kitchen utensils and annoy our neighbours at home (which is what I do every Saturday morning!).
A transgenerational experience, this show is for everyone – from grandparents who were teens in the 70s to today’s rocking youth who probably only know Queen’s songs thanks to the power of show tune phenomenon GLEE. It’s SO worth a family night out.
Cape Town, don’t be your typical lazy selves … book your tickets for Queen – It’s a Kinda Magic TODAY at Computicket. The show run ends on 22 November, 2015 so hurry!
P.S: What an honour, too, to meet Peter Freestone, Freddie Mercury’s long time PA and biographer and consulting producer for Queen - It’s a Kinda Magic on opening night! There truly is something magical about meeting someone who has lived through and been a party of the Queen era.