Review: HOLLYWOOD at Theatre on the Bay Is Another LAMTA “Blockbuster”

This production is the latest dance offering delivered by LAMTA.

By: Jun. 23, 2024
Review: HOLLYWOOD at Theatre on the Bay Is Another LAMTA “Blockbuster”
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It’s safe to say that LAMTA productions consistently fall part of my theatre-highlights of the year. They are routinely excellent and slick, and the high standard never falters. The same can be said of LAMTA’s latest offering – its dance show, HOLLYWOOD. The show is a celebration of and a commentary on the highs and lows of Hollywood: the fame, the grandeur, and even the systemic abuse that sometimes lurks therein.

While it is marketed as a dance show, audience members get, as we always do at LAMTA shows, a whole lot more than is expected. Be prepared for some sensational singing, bold choreography, and a whole lot of onscreen fun which I won’t ruin. Let’s just say that the Directors really lean into the whole film theme.

Review: HOLLYWOOD at Theatre on the Bay Is Another LAMTA “Blockbuster”

One of my favourite things about LAMTA dance shows is the fresh and daring choreography. The styles of each number are so different (and yet do not feel disjointed at all). HOLLYWOOD features twelve brilliant choreographers who each bring their own creative spark to the production. I loved the diversity of choreography – no two numbers were alike (in the best way). From sensual, heartbreaking dances to quirky, hilarious character pieces, HOLLYWOOD contains the full spectrum of emotions and tones. While every number was a treat, I highlight some of my favourites below:

 “The Audition”, choreographed by Jared Schaedler, features vibrant, unique choreography and tells the story of actors/dancers auditioning for a film. It captures the creative yet cut-throat nature of the industry. The costumes are also great. This is a standout!

“You So Done”, choreographed by Chesney Stanfield and Emile Petersen of Gain Collective, delves into the dark side of Tinseltown. Inspired by the #MeToo movement, this performance features jarring, visceral and violent choreography – it is superb.

 “Risky Business”, choreographed by Duane Alexander, is pure fun! It epitomises the care-free yet angsty energy of the boy-teen. Of course, the piece pays homage to the 1983 film from where it gets its name. It’s a treat!

Review: HOLLYWOOD at Theatre on the Bay Is Another LAMTA “Blockbuster”

“And the Oscar Goes To…” choreographed by Anna Olivier and Naoline Quinzin, is a special number. The performers are all clad in gold and the piece takes us through the proceedings of a night at the Academy Awards (and what goes down afterwards). The quirky, goofy elements of this piece were my favourite and the concept is really creative.

“Extra Celestial” choreographed by Duane Alexander, is just gorgeous. The dancers, in their hooded costumes, look otherworldly and meld into each other in the most ethereal way. The lighting and the fluid choreography make this a stand-out piece. Shout out to the ET reference – such fun.

 “Grand Budapest Hotel” by Michelle Reid is exquisite. If you’d asked me to imagine a Wes Anderson film translated into a dance, I wouldn’t have been able to conjure it up but Reid’s choreography totally embodies that highly stylised, beautifully framed quality. It’s a hilarious piece and I was sad when it ended.  

There are so many stand-out dancers but some include Amy Bright, Gabriella Knight, Jayden Dickson, Michelle Junker, and Isabella Abrahams – I love their expressions and their attitude , which takes their performances to a whole other level.

As always, the calibre of LAMTA students is exceptionally high, and the dancing isn’t the only thing on which I must comment. The audience is also blessed with about five singing performances, which are just magical, and which are directed by none other than Anton Luitingh. My personal highlight is “I Will Talk and Hollywood Will Listen”. This is one of my all-time favourite songs and Robert Everson delivered a knock-out performance. He reaches those top notes seemingly effortlessly and, honestly, if I could hire him to sing at my hypothetical future wedding, I would.  Another highlight is the show’s rendition of “Fix You”, sung by Ben Wood, Keely Crocker, Nikita Latimer, and Robert Everson. It is hauntingly beautiful.

Review: HOLLYWOOD at Theatre on the Bay Is Another LAMTA “Blockbuster”

Duane Alexander, Anton Luitingh and the entire production team have excelled yet again with a hit that embraces both screen and stage. The students are sensational, which cements HOLLYWOOD as another hit in the LAMTA show “Walk of Fame”.

HOLLYWOOD runs from at Theatre on the Bay from 19 June to 21 June 2024. Tickets cost between R150 and R250 and are available via Webtickets.

Image credit: Ingrid Owen


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