Showcasing a lovely voice

2013-02-14 00:00

REVIEW

From West End to Broadway

and Beyond

Schlesinger Theatre,

Michael house

 

THE first time I heard Cat Simoni sing was when she performed in Alan Sutherland’s The Girl from Somewhere in Mooi River.

That was nearly three years ago and it has been wonderful to see how Simoni’s confidence has grown in leaps and bounds, thanks to her friendship and professional partnership with fellow Midlands resident, Paul Spence.

Watching her perform in her new solo show, From West End to Broadway and Beyond, at Michaelhouse’s Schlesinger Theatre last Friday, it’s clear to see how much she’s grown as a performer.

In this autobiographical and deeply personal show, co-written and directed by Spence, Simoni shares her story of living in London and dreaming of singing in the West End with the audience.

Using nothing more than a baby grand piano, a chaise longue and a couple of props, she kicks off proceedings with two Queen numbers — Don’t Stop Me Now and Play The Game — and then delivers musical classics like Wouldn’t It Be Loverly from My Fair Lady and Maybe This Time from Cabaret.

In-between, she shares anecdotes of her first gigs in London’s top hotels, where she rubbed shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, George Benson, Boy (Girl) George, and George Martin, and played on a gaudy piano owned by Elton John, which she describes as a “glitter ball on legs”.

Simoni also shares her dream of meeting Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber and becoming his next muse, after singing his hits Love Changes Everything, Another Suitcase in Another Hall (Evita), Tell Me on Sunday, With One Look (Sunset Boulevard), and Music of the Night and All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera.

There are also funny stories of stag nights and hen parties, of drunk toffs and horrible auditions, and of a dream put on hold by marriage and motherhood. Most of all though, From West End to Broadway and Beyond is an excellent showcase for Simoni’s beautiful voice. Don’t miss it if it’s in your neck of the woods.

Estelle Sinkins

 

• Cat Simoni will be performing From West End to Broadway and Beyond at the Hexagon Dive Theatre, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg campus, at 7 pm for 7.30 pm, on February 15 and February 16. Doors open at 6.45 pm. The Dive is a supper theatre, so take along food, but no drinks — there is a cash bar available. Tickets cost R85 and tables seat 10 people. To book, e-mail hexagon@ukzn.ac.za or phone 033 260 5537.

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