Blues Brothers Live At The Square
I was fortunate enough to get the schedule juggled in order to catch a great piece of musical theatre this past weekend. The Blues Brothers – Non Stop Serious Party is running at the Theatre on the Square in Sandton until the end of this week. This award-winning musical celebrates the music made famous by the pork pie hat and wayfarer sunglass wearing duo Jake and Elwood Blues in the cult 80’s movie, The Blues Brothers.
These iconic kings of cool were created by the late John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd for the Saturday Night Live show and the film was made on the strength of the cult success of these characters. The first Blues Brothers stage show was a 1980 musical comedy starring Belushi and Aykroyd as “Joliet” Jake and Elwood Blues.
The show features songs by singers James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, among others, such as I Feel Good, Jailhouse Rock, In the Midnight Hour, Riot in Cellblock No. 9, Soul Man and Sweet Home Chicago.
Playing the Brothers are Johan Baird and Alwyn Kotze. Both provide good representations of the original roles created by Belushi and Aykroyd, and their interpretations of the songs are solid throughout the performance. The leads are backed by the “Bluettes” – Lebo Toko, Crushanda Forbes and Tshepi Mashego. Each of the trio get a solo opportunity to show off their talents. And they do not disappoint either – some serious big voices in some little bodies right there!
The music is provided by a six-piece band on stage, and they really enjoy themselves throughout the show. It’s clear that the musicians love playing the songs as much as the performers love singing them. If I had one small complaint, it would be with the sound quality which I thought lacked a little ‘oomph’ and resonance. The ToS is a small venue, and the acoustics could have been much more lively.