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“A short series of talks by clued-up industry people are each followed by a brief Q&A and a two-song set by a hand-picked original act.”

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“His delivery was full of colours, dynamic contrasts and nuances, not to mention ear-shattering vocal outbursts. He had to hang onto the banister behind the conductor’s podium for support, but he made it look as natural as placing a hand on a piano.”

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The show is divided into four parts, namely Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, Cars, and Frozen. Storylines are excerpted and condensed versions of their film counterparts, with introductions by the hosts in between each tale. The exceptional detail and evident effort that went into creating each costume, prop and set design is staggering. This meticulous attention to detail and the inclusion of voiceovers from the original cast, made one feel as though they are experiencing magnified versions of their fictional heroes. Judging by the booming cheers, Cars’ Lightning McQueen and Frozen’s Olaf the Snowman were clear crowd favourites.

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The Endler Hall has arguably the best acoustical features of all concert halls in the Western Cape. It has even been acclaimed as one of the finest concert halls in the world. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Endler Prestige Concert Series has always attracted world-renowned artists.

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…but the treffer of their set was ‘Shit Happens’ a spontaneous song to keep the crowd entertained while a guitar was fixed.

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Sitting snugly in the striped cushioned seats (definitely the most comfortable in a while) and sipping on a glass of cabernet, I started thinking how well red wine and jazz go together. But, just like a good wine, jazz has to be finely crafted to be properly enjoyed.

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I’d imagined there would be more focus on healthy foods and ways to prepare invigorating and healthy meals. And I was disappointed not to see at least one miniature organic market, but maybe that’s because there’s already quite a few organic food markets at the weekends.

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The atmosphere was electric – with the audience shouting ‘hopa!’ and ‘ole!’ along with the dancers and musicians – making me feel I was at the centre of a dusty little Spanish town.

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From the first shaping of the orchestra’s sound in Maestro Bonynge’s hands to the unrestrained “bravos” at the end as we rose to our feet, the tight cast of talents carried us through a concert that will not easily be forgotten.

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A Snoop Dogg concert is not about the party. It’s about an indulgence in hip hop old and new, smoothly blended with Snoop’s distinctly velvet delivery of rap. The concert at Grand West’s Grand Arena last night was a concert about absorbing the rhythms and taking everything in.

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The Meditation from Tchaikovsky in particular had some audience members erect in their seats shouting ‘Bravo’. Charmingly. Avigail seemed completely taken aback and surprised by this display of appreciation and excitement from the audience.

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All around the room, as glasses were sipped and Simon’s fine-quality cuisine was sampled, remarks ranged from tender pondering to pleasant surprise. The conceit that complementing high-class food is the reserved of the valley of wine was properly taken by the scruff of its neck and given a dressing down.

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For people who love pure unadulterated guitar, the Folk and Acoustic Music Festival is a regular treat. Now in its fourth incarnation, this time in the Baxter Concert Hall, the atmosphere was set to a comfortable note by the audience who seemed familiar with the performers as well as the performers who seemed familiar with each other.

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What with the great view and the generous portions to work through, the idea is to linger and to lounge at the Clubhouse, which also serves as a venue for private functions such as birthday parties and bridal showers. It doesn’t claim to be overly fancy, pricing is not at all exorbitant, and that’s probably why it’s already becoming something of a local favourite among friends and families.

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A celebration of Jazzart’s 40th year, Waiting for Rain symbolises the new birth, creation and re-creation associated with life-giving rain. The dance company’s signature style hits an extreme high in this bold production, marrying contemporary artistry with ancient ritual.

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There’s a special fascination about people who appear to have no regard for danger. It’s amazing that no one died as kayakers were filmed hurling themselves down impossibly high and freakishly tumultuous rapids in nothing more than bright yellow Tupperware clogs.

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An event held on a school sports field generally holds promise of little more than a ponderous brass band and a tombola manned by an Enthusiastic Father. But Camps Bay High School is no ordinary venue. And the event was, well… the restaurant equivalent to winning a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory.

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We started with a handmade Pizza Focaccia con Rosmarino e Sale. This we paired with Prosciutto con Gelato di Grana Padano– small cones of Parma ham wrapped with a filling of marscapone and parmesan cheese. It was a delicious taste sensation and I would highly recommend visiting just to taste it.

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One would have thought it would be difficult to empathize with an SS officer responsible for gross crimes against humanity. But Cairns is irresistibly charming as a dry and somewhat clumsy ex-theatre-critic-turned-Nazi-cleric. Equipped with his signature wit and physical comedic ability Cairns creates a character who soulfully reflects on his existence as an “evil, evil German” as he tries to save the life of his love interest, a captive stage actress, by convincing his superiors that “sie weiss alles” (she knows everything).

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The Nederburg Concert Series gives a platform to South African classical musicians of international calibre, and on the programme this particular afternoon were three students recently selected to be part of the Unisa Music Foundation’s Gifted Young Musicians Development Programme.

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With so many impressions to digest, it is hard to pick out highlights, but standing out not just for its size, but also for its scintillating colour pallette is El Marinero, a mixed media painting on canvas by Christiaan Conradie. It shows an elderly man with distinct features and big, masculine hands. The face and the hands are separated by what seems like scribble or doodling until closer examination reveals fascinating detail.

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Away with dreary winter! Hooray for the advent of spring and its dynamic of rejuvenation and relaxation – perfectly encapsulated by the annual Franschhoek Uncorked wine festival. Thanks to some superb planning by the festival organisers, all of the participating wine farms were indicated with bright red signs, with Noble Hill Wine Estate as #1 and Boekenhoutskloof as #19. Any planning by visitors is of course subject to spontaneity, as it is all too easy in any individual vineyard to bump into friends, or to get distracted by a particularly appealing wine, or simply to get caught up with the atmosphere and lose track of time. We did what we could of course, but there was no way we were going to manage all 19 farms!

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On the plate it looks like seared beef fillet sliced carpaccio style, topped with a heavily sesame-oil-infused concoction of soy sauce, fresh ginger, black and white sesame seeds, and green onion. In the mouth it is an unparalleled party of flavours: an explosion of umami, tender in texture and tangy in taste.

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Angela Kilian as Norma Desmond is phenomenal, with a brittle sensuality that oozes pain, desperation and madness. Her powerful voice is beautiful yet razor sharp, and her every gesture commands the stage in a way that makes it poignantly clear why Norma Desmond was such a great star of the silent movies

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