Canned Rice's UNDERSTUDY BLUES Comes to Cape Town Tonight
UNDERSTUDY BLUES, the debut production from Canned Rice Productions, will open at the Galloway Theatre in Cape Town for a nine-performance run this month.
A musical comedy cabaret about impressing the big-shots so much that you are always their first choice to be first runner-up, UNDERSTUDY BLUES features Candice van Whatshername, the ensemble member of all those hit shows you loved, singing the anthem of every understudy ever cast in a musical: "Mama... I got the lead role... well sort of... I'm in the ensemble, but I get to play the lead...well sort of... I go on if she's ill... which may be never... but Mama... I'm gonna be a star!"
Directed by Richard Wright-Firth, UNDERSTUDY BLUES stars Candice van Litsenborgh with Musical Director Drew Rienstra on piano.
Van Litsenborgh made her professional debut, a few months after matriculating, playing one of Mrs Noah's Gossips in CAPAB's production of the Benjamin Britten opera, NOYE'S FLUDDE in her home town of Port Elizabeth. After completing a degree in Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town, she has appeared in a long list of musicals including four award-winning Pieter Toerien productions - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (understudy - Mary Magdalene), the South African premiere of CHESS (understudy - Svetlana), EVITA and SUNSET BOULEVARD. She also toured internationally with JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, performing in Athens, Greece as well as Seoul and Busan, South Korea. She has also appeared as Emma Goldman in Stephen Sondheim's ASSASSINS, Kim Ravenal in Cape Town Opera's production of SHOW BOAT (touring to Malmö, Sweden), Jennifer in I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT... NOW CHANGE (Ovation Award 2010 National Arts Festival), as the drunken Lucille McKee in THE GREAT GATSBY, the evil Sea Witch in THE LITTLE MERMAID and most recently she played both the stepmother and witch in HANSEL AND GRETEL at the Baxter Theatre. This June/July she can be seen at the Canal Walk Theatre playing multiple roles, including the Queen of Hearts, in ALICE IN WONDERLAND.
Director Wright-Firth is a British actor, director, teacher and voice-over artist. He trained at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London and graduated in 2002 with a first class honours degree in Acting. With more than twenty productions under his belt, he has also works as an accent and dialect coach and has narrated several film documentaries and series. Most recently he completed BIRDMEN RACING, a 5 part film documentary on base jumping and played a foreman in the US television series SAF3. He also works regularly as a dubbing artist on foreign language films and television series. In 2012, Richard landed the role of Muldoon in the Starz Network International series BLACK SAILS.
Rienstra, the musical director and accompanist for UNDERSTUDY BLUES, has worked internationally as a musical director, pianist and vocal coach. His New York vocal coaching studio helped actors to book major productions in and around New York. His credits include the revival of JOHN AND HEN at the Broadway Dance Center, the European premiere of CURTAINS, and many regional productions in the United States. After moving to Cape Town, Drew launched the Play Club initiative under the banner of his production company, Chase the Sun. He is currently the head of music, and vocal coach at the Academy of Musical Theatre In Cape Town, where he has coached leading South African actors, recently appearing in SUNSET BOULEVARD, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW and at Grand West.
UNDERSTUDY BLUES opens at The Galloway Theatre at the Waterfront Theatre School in Port Road today, 21 - 31 May 2014. Online bookings can be made through the Waterfront Theatre School website (www.waterfronttheatreschool.co.za) or by calling Sharon on 0827728867. Tickets cost R100.
Photo Credit: Pauline Du Plessis