Back by popular demand, the undisputed highlight of the festive season pays tribute to the iconic Luxurama Theatre, one of Cape Town’s grand old dames of cinema and entertainment. Written and directed by Izobell and Baxter CEO and artistic director Lara Foot, Remembering the Lux will once again bring to life and celebrate the history of the legendary Luxurama.
The media raved about the production. The Cape Times said, “It’s not often that an audience gives a spontaneous standing ovation during a performance, but that was what happened on the opening night of Remembering the Lux. It’s surprising that the audience sat down again, such is the energy and magical exuberance of the production.”
It went further, saying, “Even if you don’t remember The Lux, you certainly won’t forget this for the longest time” and “This is a production that needs to be seen at least twice.” Die Burger was equally encouraging: “There are many reasons to go and see Remembering the Lux … go and see it a second time.” Cape Argus described it as “ … feel-good and slick, but with soul” and Call off the Search simply said, “Unmissable.”Through charming anecdotes and classic hit songs the stellar cast will once again create their charm and magic as they creep into the heart of audiences, taking them on a nostalgic journey down memory lane.
The ensemble features Alistair Izobell, Loukmaan Adams, Nur Abrahams, Terry Hector, Giempie Vardien, Terry Fortune, Leslie Kleinsmith, Niesha Abrahams and Kashiefa Blaauw, accompanied by a six-piece live band, led by Donveno Prins. Most of them have, at some point in their own careers, performed at The Lux (as it was and is still today fondly referred to).
The band is made up of Donveno Prins (band leader and saxophone), Dylan Roman (keyboards), Anthon Mannel (drums), Angelo Syster (guitar), Franco Mannel (bass) and Marcell Adams (trumpet).
They will sing familiar and perennially popular songs such as Where the Boys Are, Il Mondo, Spanish Eyes, Puppy Love, This is My Life and Delilah, to mention just a few, guaranteed to get audiences singing along and dancing in their seats.
Many top international artists such as Connie Francis, Dusty Springfield, Engelbert Humperdink, Tom Jones, Percy Sledge, Peaches and Herb, Petula Clark, Jose Feliciano, Dobie Gray, Joe Dolan, Lovelace Watkins and many others, performed at the Luxurama. Local stars Taliep Petersen, Zayn Adam, Jonathan Butler, Richard Jon Smith, Ricardo, Ronnie Joyce and Lionel Petersen are just a few of the music sensations who appeared on the boards. Well-known South African bands like The Rockets, The Bats, Rabbit and Ballyhoo were among the groups who battled it out.
Since it was built in 1963 by Ronnie Quibell, The Luxurama Theatre in Wynberg became a vital cultural hub for many integrated audiences and it preceded the Three Arts Complex in Diepriver, which was also established by the Quibell Brothers. It was the first theatre complex to host mixed audiences during apartheid and in 1965 the South African government declared it a ‘Coloureds only’ venue.
This is a first-time collaboration between Alistair Izobel and Lara Foot, both accomplished and respected artists in their respective genres. Izobell is one of South Africa’s foremost artists, producer and musical directors, having started his career at age seven, and later went on to perform in David Kramer and Taliep Petersen’s Kat and the Kings, which earned him and the cast the Laurence Olivier Best Actor in a Musical award. He was also nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical He has become one of the leading music figures in the Western Cape, and in recent years he has wowed audiences with productions such as Kaapse Jol, Kaapse Musiek in Colour 2, Kaapse Stoep Stories and Just Me – Net So.
Foot has enjoyed unprecedented success recently with her sell-out production The Inconvenience of Wings at the Baxter. She was named the Featured Artist at the 2016 National Arts Festival where she was the toast of Grahamstown, with all three her productions Karoo Moose, Tshepang and The Inconvenience of Wings sold out and receiving great acclaim. Some of her other work, for which she has received numerous awards and accolades, include Solomon and Marion, Scrooge and Fishers of Hope (Tawaret).
The Baxter Theatre Centre has launched a special Facebook page called The Lux and members of the public are encouraged to join and share their own memories, pictures and stories about this once statuesque and vibrant entertainment centre.
“I am personally so excited to be honouring The Luxurama Theatre, which was home to so many of this city’s audiences during it’s heyday”, says Izobell. “Almost the entire cast in this production have performed on that stage and for all of us, to be able to bring back those memories, I regard as a blessing. Teaming up with Lara, who had tremendous success with her production of Scrooge at the Baxter two years ago, is another highlight of my career so far. We would like to invite local audiences to join us in this festive season celebration as we pay tribute to the Lux and urge them to share their memories and stories with us on this specially-created Facebook page.”
Remembering the Lux returns to the Baxter Theatre from 25 August to 17 September with performances at 8pm (Mondays to Thursdays), at 6pm and 9.15pm on Fridays and at 4pm and 8pm on Saturdays. Ticket prices range from R140 to R160 and booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet.
For discounted corporate or group block bookings, fundraisers or charities contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or email her at email@example.com during office hours.