With pride and more than a few tears

I feel a little like the mama bird watching her chicks take their first flight.

On Tuesday I attended the Joburg City Power sponsor opening night of #StarlightExpressSA.  I was unable to attend the Media launch on Sunday.

Having watched skate rehearsals, first read through of the script, costume rehearsals, stage building, sound and lighting technical rehearsals, seeing the theatre fill up and the lights come on and Control, Rusty, Greaseball, Electra, Pearl, Dinah and all the others come alive, I was left with a moment of breathlessness, a moment of “oh wow, this is real”.

Everything came together, well the sound needed a tweak or two in the first half, and blew the audience away.  Every comment I heard at interval was positive.  A few people, my mom included, had been at opening week in London 29 years ago and they said this was a production they would never forget!  I cried, I laughed, I held my breath during the races.  I am so proud at what Bernard Jay, Janice Honeyman and their amazing cast and crew have put together.

SE new 2 Web BW

*Im going to mention here that I am NOT being paid to write any of the #StarlightExpressSA posts*

That being said, please, please, please! Go book your tickets right now!  You will not regret it!

{Joburg Theatre} or call 0861 670 670

I love it when a plan comes together!

What a privilege to be a part of the #StarlightExpressSA journey.  I cannot tell you how amazing its been to see this production come together.

Yesterday I attended a rehearsal on the main stage.  A stage that has been especially designed and built for the production by James Macnamara.  From ‘on-stage’ seating, to ramps and revolving parts.  Everything is brand spanking new and clearly a labour of love.

Lights, Stage, Action
Lights, Stage, Action

Yesterday was also the lighting designers turn to start making magic.  And Declan Randall is truly a magician.  The lights are almost their own character.  It was so special to watch this part of the production happen.

Lighting
Lighting

Apart from all the technical wizardry happening yesterday, the cast and crew were making last minute changes to choreography and direction.  I love getting this behind the scenes look.  The cast has truly become a family.

David Schlachter aka Rusty, contemplating one of the ramps
David Schlachter aka Rusty, contemplating one of the ramps

The highlight of my visit yesterday was seeing the two boys playing Control interact with each other.  Joshua Moreira and Ziya Devar are 10 years old and the youngest cast members.  It was fun watching them just be kids together in between scenes.  Thats not to say they are not serious actors.  These kids will blow your minds.  Two more confident and talented youngsters you wont find very easily!

Josh and Ziya
Josh and Ziya

Watching rehearsal yesterday, I realised just how close we are to opening a 9 week run of this MEGA musical.  If you havent already, I suggest you give the Joburg Theatre a call (0861 670 670) or hop on over to their {website} to book your tickets.  This production is pure magic for the whole family.  I cant wait to take Aaron to see it.

Dinah, Buffy, Duvet and Pearl
Dinah, Buffy, Duvet and Pearl

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Practice! Practice! Practice!

Its an old joke but so true.  How does one do the very best they can in something?  They practice.  Or rehearse.

Yesterday was the very first rehearsal for #StarlightExpressSA and I was so privileged to be there to witness it.

The entire cast and crew was there.

Bernard Jay, CEO of the Joburg Theatre and producer gave a welcome speech that left me teary and smiling.  Bernard is definitely the father figure to the cast and crew, watching his face as he officially opened the rehearsals, you could see his pride and utter belief in the cast.

Where Bernard is the father, Janice Honeyman must be the mother figure.  She gave the cast and crew her vision for this production and you could feel the excitement build, you could see the smiles and nods from the cast as they listened.

This is definitely a family.  And when everyone introduced themselves, we, as the social media team were included in that family.

iphone pics 569

The very first read through of the script left me with goosebumps.  The youngest cast members are 10 years old, they share the role of Control and will perform 4 performances each per week.  They absolutely blew us all away and received a huge round of applause from the cast and crew after their first lines.

Having been witness to the talent and dedication at the first rehearsal I just know this production is going to blow your socks off when you see it.

For booking go to {http://joburgtheatre.com} or call 0861 670 670

For more info follow {#StarlightExpressSA} on twitter

Starlight Star Bright! #StarlightExpressSA

*I am not being paid to blog/tweet/talk about #StarlightExpressSA

Along with an awesome social media team, I have been invited to follow the journey of the South African production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic rock musical, {Starlight Express}!

Andrew, Wenchy, Jodene, Shelly, Me and Chevè - Photo by Mariola Biela
Andrew, Wenchy, Jodene, Shelly, Me and Chevè – Photo by Mariola Biela

And by follow the journey, I mean, skate lessons, rehearsals, costume fittings, set building, dress rehearsals, interviews with cast & crew and finally, opening night.

The most notable thing about the South African production is that, essentially, for the first time since Starlight made its debut in 1984, with the exception of the songs and music, the production is entirely new.  New costumes, new choreography, new, all South African cast, new life!

Yesterday I was privileged to watch the cast in full costume for the first time, skating with lights, smoke machine and music.

Produced by {Joburg Theatre} CEO Bernard Jay and directed by acclaimed director, Janice Honeyman, the local production should be a site to behold!

To come along on the journey with me and the others on Twitter follow:

I will leave you with some of my impressions from yesterday!

At rest
At rest

 

'Poppa'
‘Poppa’

 

Lights
Lights

 

Consult
Consult

 

 

Panorama - Rehearsal Stage
Panorama – Rehearsal Stage