TWO AND A HALF TENORS. With Pierre van Heerden and Paul du Toit. Kalk Bay Theatre.
BEVERLEY BROMMERT reviews
A spirit of self-mocking raillery, combined with polished singing, makes this evening of familiar songs in an intimate venue a delightful experience for those in quest of music with a dash of humour.
The latter element is already discernible in the title: one tenor (Paul du Toit) is of slender build, while the other, (Pierre van Heerden) is, to put it tactfully, over-endowed with avoirdupois. Together they make a quaintly ill-assorted duo in the looks department, but their singing is excellently matched. Personality-wise, both have their share of charm, but again it is contrasted, as Du Toit is all expressive vivacity to counter his phlegmatic partner’s almost dead-pan delivery.
On opening night the first two numbers in the repertoire were marred by ferocious amplification which distorted the singers’ voices, but after some adjustment it was possible to appreciate the merits of the pair in solos as well as duets; Du Toit’s rendition of Mac the Knife, and comical adaptations of the The Way You Look Tonight and The Lady is a Tramp from the twosome, stand out for their quality and imaginative treatment.
Warming a winter’s evening
Initially the songs chosen tend to outlast their welcome with one reprise too many, but this (like the excessive volume) is also corrected as the pace picks up and the performers become more comfortable with audience and venue. Personal jibes are introduced to spice up the humour, such as references to Van Heerden’s unmatched socks and provenance from Parow; then there is the pseudo-agony of the stout singer as he attempts vigorous dance-moves too demanding for one of his bulk. Wayward accompaniment from the inept person in charge of the recorded music is another source of mirth which Du Toit is not slow to exploit to the full.
A highlight is the muted lullaby from the pair, accompanied by softly strummed strings – a collage of What a Wonderful World and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, in which their vocal calibre is amply demonstrated as they pay tribute to their respective offspring.
As the show concludes with a return to brasher numbers, enthusiastic demands for encores attest to the enjoyment of those seeking – and finding – escapism in Two and a Half Tenors. Undemanding entertainment to warm a winter’s evening.
What: Two and a Half Tenors
Where and when: Kalk Bay Theatre until 29 June 2019