What happens when you put four song and dance and jazz veterans together with some timeless classics from the American Song Book, a bit of Bessie Smith and a smattering of Joan Rivers, to say nothing of the Communards’ delicious Never Can Say Goodbye? In simple terms, a little bit of magic.
This is Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd, a modest and completely unapologetically nostalgic evening with Michael de Pinna, Keith Smith, Annabel Linder and Sam Sklair on clarinet – a man who, in his nineties, still exudes sex appeal. These performers, collectively onstage and doing their thing for more than 100 years, have amazingly, never shared a show of this nature until now. They also really know how it’s done: They know the nuts and bolts and terrors and traumas of this industry well. And they have nothing to prove or to lose, which makes the show feel light and effortless, and enables an unadulterated sense of happiness to infiltrate the space.
Perhaps with the eye of a director, it would have been tightened a tad, but your inner register of happiness as you unashamedly drink up the beauty of songs from Gershwin and Bacharach, Dreamgirls and Chicago, the 1950s and the 1970s and more, simply doesn’t care. Being in the audience of this show makes you feel like you are a house guest in an environment that loves you.
Foxwood is not your slickest of theatre venues in this city. And the show is structurally rough, featuring at times competition between the piped music and the live instrument but the ethos of warmth is such that everything is forgiven; you emerge with your heart buzzing, as it should. How privileged we are to experience the performances of each of these stalwarts.
- Two’s Company, Three’s a Show features Michael de Pinna, Annabel Linder and Keith Smith, accompanied by Sam Sklair on clarinet. It performs on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons at the Foxwood Theatre, 13-Fifth Street, Houghton Johannesburg, until March 8 (011)486-0935