South Africans love a good music game show. With nearly 40 seasons on television under its belt, NOOT VIR NOOT can attest to that. FACE THE MUSIC brought the idea to the theatre in a different format that allows the entire audience to take part in the quiz, winning an Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival earlier this year. FACE THE MUSIC 2 takes that award-winning formula to craft a new show, with two new cast members, Delray Bruns and Margaux Fouché, joining Vanessa Harris on stage.
The quiz part of the evening consists of five games based around divas, movie music, matching pictures of singers with their songs, musicals and matching songs with the decade in which they were released. It is all done in good spirit and you can work on your own or with a partner, depending on whether or not you are willing to share the prize, a first class bottle of brandy from Distell. The questions cover a broad spectrum of popular music, just difficult enough to separate the men from the boys.
In between the games, Burns, Fouché and Harris entertain the audience with a series of solos and group numbers, dressed in some exquisitely designed costumes. Hosted primarily by the personable Harris, with some input from Burns and Fouché, the show moves at a cracking pace with songs drawn from the last 70 years of popular music. Some of the vocals in the show lack polish - the opening number, "Walking on Sunshine", was particularly weak - but the effusiveness of the trio makes up for that.
One of the highlights of the show was a fantastically conceived medley where the three deliver a medley of pop songs from the charts in the close-harmony style of the Andrews Sisters. The singing here was probably the tightest in the show, so it was a pity that the sound design did not do it justice. Indeed, the sound design on the whole goes for loudness rather than balance, and some work could be done to refine this aspect of the show.
What was missing from FACE THE MUSIC 2 was a game or medley focusing on South African music. Given the huge amount of local popular music today, a nod to the work of artists like Freshly Ground, Mango Groove or Kurt Darren should have been a natural inclusion in a show like this. I would hope to see this oversight amended when the next edition of FACE THE MUSIC hits local stages.
FACE THE MUSIC 2 is a great night out for a group of friends looking for a good time this festive season. The Kalk Bay Theatre offers various meal and dessert options, so you can eat, drink and be merry without ever leaving the venue. If you are looking for some light entertainment, would like to test your knowledge of music trivia in a fun setting and are keen to try your hand at winning some fine brandy, this is the show for you.
Face The Music 2 will be performed at the Kalk Bay Theatre from 12 December 2012 until 6 January 2013 Guests can enjoy a delicious two or three course meal with dessert and coffee after the show, when they can meet the performers. For all bookings and further information visit the Kalk Bay Theatre website.