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It’s a lot like a drive-in, minus the cars. It delivers a night-picnic experience with a good film to watch, where you can actually feel the summer breeze brush against your cheeks and might even have to stuff a serviette at the top of your can of Coke, just in case a six-legged creature decides to take a dive in it. But that all forms part of the tranquil outdoor experience.

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Spears’ style can be described as impressionist, veering towards the abstract, particularly after his visit to America in 1947. Displayed in the Upstairs Gallery of the museum, the works range from colourful still lifes, via religious pictures, to landscapes and portraits. It is an impressive collection – much of it privately owned – and gives the onlooker a rare opportunity to thoroughly peruse Spears’ style.

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With some excellent South African artists included in the lineup, it was still a surprise to feel the energies of some of the lesser known musicians. Former Idols season 6 contestant Lloyd Cele in particular was a real icebreaker, flipping the switch from ‘gentle picnic fest’ to ‘vibey concert fest’.

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In the role of Noach, Lee-Ann van Rooi’s bellowing voice never fails to captivate the audience, its sturdiness resonating with her character’s refusal to give up hope and her will to remain sane and structured. Dannelene is a strong character that is only strengthened by van Rooi’s powerful stage presence. Her failure to falter, her insistence to retain and repeat her memories, and her undying Christian faith all come together as the guiding force that kept her afloat in times of engulfing trauma.

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The audience is treated to Contemporary, Ballet, Flamenco and African Dance pieces, all of which showcase the impressive versatility of the dancers as well as giving credit to the training of the teachers and choreographers at DFA.

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Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what great weekends are made of. Add a dash of good company, a picturesque setting and a beautiful winter’s day to the mix and you have a sure-fire recipe for decadent success.

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‘Exodus’ is the first narrative Hip Hop dance work I’ve seen that maintains the energy and streetwise “cool” synonymous with hip hop while at the same time being gut-wrenchingly moving. The choreography is outstanding, drawing you inexorably into agony and grief before pushing you into the energy of revolution, so much so that the audience was cheering and eventually on its feet before the piece had even ended.

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The band went straight into a driving groove initiated by enthusiastic drummer Bruce Cox, followed by bassist Dwayne Dolphin looking as calm and laid back as if he was relaxing at a seaside resort. Guitarist Reggie Ward and pianist Peter Madsen followed suit. Then Wesley blared into action, shooting off a couple of melodic ideas, which were coupled by the powerhouse horn section. The horns – Wesley, trumpeter Gary Winters, and tenor saxophonist Phillip Whack – created a full body of sound that left a lasting dent on your musical soul. The section had an immense sense of dynamics, control and balance; even the way they bent and scooped notes in unison was impressive.

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CTCB’s Maynardville season presents Night & Day, a ballet set to the music of Cole Porter. Maynardville’s open-air theatre is always a pleasure to experience, and with the stars twinkling above it offers the perfect setting for this glitzy production. As expected, there are lots of colourful, high-energy pieces, with the dancers doing a great job to maintain their bounce and pizzazz throughout.

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“By looking back, Orpheus may have failed to bring his beloved back to life, but Cape Town Opera’s forward-looking Orfeo managed to create a novel and current theatrical experience with a 400 year old soul.”

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“This premiere collaboration provides terrific innovation in its unique rendition of traditional circus legacy. Indeed, it is an evolved and spectacular show with all the razzmatazz trimmings of a bygone era.”

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Find out what ‘artisanal food’ entails from people who are passionate about making and sourcing it on the beautiful Franschhoek Artisan Food Route. It’s all about enjoying the beauty of food in its simplicity, while learning about the ethics, hard work and attention to detail that goes into the creation of natural, top-quality cuisine.

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“Wait is the type of energetic, impassioned musical production suited to a more stupendous setting than a Fringe stage can offer; one on which its subject can be expounded rather than merely imagined.”

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“Perhaps because it deals with these mysteries, or perhaps because it’s just so damn hilarious, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change continues its global runaway success in Camps Bay this season – a mature 20 years since it was written.”

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“Ginja checks all the boxes for a great night out, watching the city lights come up as you enjoy a delectable meal. Though it has to be said, its enviable view of Table Mountain makes it a great spot for any time of day”

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OK – I confess, we do get winter in Cape Town. In the last couple of weeks it must have rained at least twice and the temperature at night has plunged to as low as three degrees. But even the weather succumbs to Cape Town’s laid back attitude. As I write this, I am sitting in the sun under our lemon tree, thermal vest long since discarded. [Read more…]

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“Sandra Prinsloo plays Martins, bringing to her character a naiveté of life with a passion for the one thing that filled her with joy: her art.”

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“The followspot soulful six are back at it, and this time they are riffing on the heart strings of everyone who loves a classic. Taking you through an alchemical medley of the songs that stood the test of time.”

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Last week Nathi Comedy hosted several names in a fantastic line-up. Peter Sserwanga was the first act and an MC of sorts for the evening. He started the event by reminding everyone that “we love making people laugh, it is our calling,” and all the comedians took to the stage with gusto and enthusiasm

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Amos is the real-deal; she doesn’t need smoke, mirrors, fireworks and dance troupes to enthral. Instead, she weaves her own magic spell and ensnares you with her voice. Clearly consumed by and in her music, watching Amos live is to peek through the curtains and catch just a fleeting glimpse into her magical, whimsical, busy mind before she slips away back into her own world much like the Selkie in her eponymous track stealing back to the sea.

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What does a crowd of 12500 look like? A completely full field at Val de Vie Wine and Polo Estate, a queue of hundreds of people out of the gates, and a slight traffic jam in the road outside.

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You know you had a good time at Synergy Live if: you’re annoying anyone who will listen to the “you should have been there” stories, the line up was killer, and your tent did not make it the weekend. Check, check and check.

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Coals to Newcastle, ice to Eskimos… teaching Capetonians not to take themselves so seriously. Hmmm, someone should have told Ben Zander that his Rule Number 6 is a slam dunk in this neck of the woods.

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The River Stage was moved from a high vantage point on the banks of the Breede River to its own little island smack in the middle. This caused a bit of lilo congestion but there was space for people to dance in front of the stage which added a lot to the party vibe on the river.

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The Constantia Food and Wine Festival was a good reminder of how simple it is to break away from the bustle of the city and the everyday rush in order to eat good food, sample fine wine and take in so much of what the Cape has to offer.

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Rivers of wine flowed from the sample bottles of almost 40 wineries, including not just whites, rosés and reds but sparkling wines and fruit coolers. The established wineries were there with classic vintages and fresh new ranges.

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Two Capetonians who are doing EXTREMELY well for themselves are Dominic Peters and David Poole of electronic jazz duo Goldfish. WhatsoninCapeTown caught up with them just after they’d signed to major international label, EMI.

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With fast-paced Latin techniques of the Samba, the Cha-Cha and the Jive to the sweeping elegance of a yearningly tender Waltz, The Temperature Rises burns rebelliously through the evolvement of dance.

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While these words of wisdom ring so true, attending an Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark concert is the closest I’ve come to seeing such a vast following of happy people, dancing in honour of the decades of their misspent youth. And there is nothing synthesized in being part of that kind of exuberance.

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