‘TOWN, is a revue conceived by Musical Theatre and seasoned theatre performer and Creative Director, Lebo Toko. The musical revue is inspired by the similarities between South African Jazz music from the cultural phenomenon of Sophiatown, and the golden era of Motown music in America. ‘TOWN’ is an entertaining and brilliant showcase of the musical parallels between the music from Berry Gordy’s Motown era in the late 1950’s, and music from Sophiatown in the same era.
The production earned its tittle, ‘TOWN, from essentially being a musical revue where SophiaTOWN meets MoTOWN. Under the youthful but brilliant musical direction of Michael Temba and overall direction of Lebo Toko, ‘TOWN promises to take the audience on a nostalgic musical journey that has been given a fresh perspective by these two collaborators.
‘TOWN is set in the late 1950’s, with a cast of six female performer/singers who represent both worlds; Sophiatown and Motown. The simple but quite effective storyline, follows these six divas as they prepare for their last show in their respective worlds. The entire production is set in a dressing room as the divas who sing at the jazz and night clubs of the late 1950’s in the respective worlds, prepare to sing at their last show. The characters are inspired by legendary female musical icons from both Sophiatown and Motown- but these characters are not in any way a representation of these musical icons.
The musical revue draws parallels of the significant similarities between the American Civil Rights Movement and Apartheid, through using the powerful tool of music. ‘TOWN’ does not do this in an outright or protest manner but rather includes subtle textures and undertones of this. And in true revue style, ‘TOWN doesn’t have an overarching storyline, but rather uses the theme of Sophiatown meets Motown as a driver of the related series of acts, music and entertaining dance ensembles.
‘TOWN is heaven to the ears of the music lover and appreciator with original compositions as well music taken directly from Sophiatown and Motown. The original compositions of Michael Temba fit magically in these golden eras and one would almost say it was written in that time. The brilliance of the musical direction is also in how the two worlds of Sophiatown music and Motown music come together so seamlessly but rather powerfully. The coming together of the two worlds in song and story, make for a fresh and magical experience that surpasses and transcends time!
‘TOWN is an exciting and vibrant original South African project that showcases some of the best talent in performance and creative genius that this country has to offer. Performed with a live band, the experience will not only elevate audiences but also enlighten them whilst keeping them entertained with brilliant original compositions as well as golden oldies that have been rearranged and given a fresh perspective.
Welcome to ‘TOWN, The Revue!