For some people it’s a great effort to laugh, especially some men taken to the theater against their will. When one of them laughed, I sighed with relief. - Jonathan
What dance did you prepare?
Jonathan Roxmouth: I do try to get a week's downtime between runs, but when I can't it comes down to as much quiet time and vitamins as I can muster. Basically, I use Berocca by night and Super Mario Brothers by day.
Eugene Yiga: And what's next for you once the current season of A Handful of Keys ends in October?
Jonathan Roxmouth: I am doing my first play! In addition, it is also my first farce. I am playing Bertie Wooster in Perfect Nonsense - straight from London's West End - at Theatre on the Bay. He is a lovable idiot; allegations of typecasting have already been made ...
South African musical show A Handful Of Keys performs live in Expresso Breakfast Show - July 8, 2014
Music legends Ian Von Memerty and Jonathan Roxmouth have returned for the smash 20th Anniversary hit show tour of “A Handful Of Keys” undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most successful musical shows. And to celebrate the 20th Anniversary, they’re doing a 20 week tour across South Africa.
Jonathan Roxmouth @JonathanRox
@Andre_Schwartz and I having well deserved champagne after out number at 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela #TwoPhantoms pic.twitter.com/IG8CMJLB6k
Jonathan Roxmouth @JonathanRox
TT…My first leading role. “Prince John” in Swan Nursery School’s production of ROBIN HOOD!
On Monday, 30 June, South Africa’s leading men of musical theatre will perform together on stage at The Auto & General Theatre on the Square, Sandton for the first time, for a good cause. The cause is an official blanket handover for 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day – an initiative that will distribute handmade blankets to those in need on 18 July.
Stars performing at the event include Jonathan Roxmouth, Andre Schwartz, Brendan van Rhyn, Timothy Moloi, Cito, Ferdi Gernandt, Mark Banks, Keith Smith, Neil Holland, Chris Jaftha, Michael Themba, Jacques Lagesse and the St Davids Chamber Choir. The MCs for the evening are Michael de Pinna and Tumisho Masha.
According to Carolyn Steyn, founder of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day, “Never before have these talented gentlemen performed together on the same stage. It is history in the making and so is 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day.”
According to Chet Diepraam, the show’s producer, “Guests will be entertained with songs from Mamma Mia, Phantom of the Opera, Peter Pan Pantomime 2014, Cabaret, We Will Rock You, Call Me Lee, Deon Opperman’s Tree Aan, Notre Dame de Paris, Chess, the Sound of Music, and more. We’ll also be bringing together two of South Africa’s Phantoms, Andre Schwartz and Jonathan Roxmouth, who, for the first time, will perform a not-to-be-missed duet of Music of the Night.”
Roxmouth is blessed with a beautiful voice. It is strong, rich and multi-faceted. He has a remarkable range and can sing anything from falsetto to a honeyed baritone. He is as capable of belting out the high notes as he is of singing with restrained and emotional intensity. He is truly gifted singer and a joy to listen to.Highlights of the show are Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera and Bring Him Home from Les Misérables. Roxmouth’s performance of these two songs is spell-binding and you could have heard a pin drop in the audience as they were sat transfixed by his artistry. These two songs alone are worth the price of the ticket.
Other songs featured in the show include Luck Be A Lady Tonight (Guys and Dolls), Beauty School Drop Out (from Grease - an excellent Elvis send-up), I Have Dreamed (The King and I), If I Loved You(Carousel), To Dream the Impossible Dream (Man of La Mancha), and a delightfully funny rendition of Flanders and Swans’ Have Some Madeira M’Dear.
Roxmouth, who is accompanied throughout by a talented and accomplished Helen Vermaas on piano, has an easy warm charm and engages well with the audience in the intimate ambiance of the Rhumbelow Theatre. This adds to the entertainment of this excellent show.
Roxmouth has successfully ensured that he not only entertains his audience well throughout this show with the music element, but also holds their attention mainly through laughter and personal tales of his journey into the world of musical theatre.
He effortlessly has his audience in stitches – literally a laugh a minute – as he recalls his growth into the industry. From endearing stories of his childhood dabbling in entertainment, to hilarious anecdotes about his first “big break” into professional musical theatre and a host of backstage memories. Through this, he gets the audience to learn a different, more intimate side of him.
…The great part about this selection – whether you know a song or not – is Roxmouth provides some background information about the songs, particularly the less well-known ones. This helps you, as a member of the audience, appreciate the song with a more enlightened understanding of the story behind the music.
…In this show we don’t see him perform a particular repertoire of music from a particular artist or era. It’s a very broad range of music and musical styles and throughout Roxmouth holds every key and hits all the right notes.
Jonathan’s vocal range allows him to handle a number of songs that require lots of movement up and down the scale. He can also control his volume every effectively, so that the ballads can shift from husky whisper to full throated top note, well sustained, without a hint of any wobbles. Very occasionally, the transition to a higher range finds him in an awkward mid range which lacks power, but he quickly recoups and the note rounds out and reaches optimum volume.His choice of repertoire for Stage by Stage is masterful as it shows off a full palette of colours. This includes the raucous ‘Broadway Baby’, the swinging ‘Luck be a Lady Tonight’, the groovin’ ‘Beauty School Dropout’ and a gutsy Gaston singing ‘Me’. Love songs abound, sung with the right degree of tenderness without falling into the tar pool of sentimentality. There’s the beautiful ‘I have dreamed’ from the King and I, the lyrical ‘If I Loved You’ from Carousel and a perfectly rendered ‘Music of the Night’.
Then the mood is broken with such lively niceties as ‘Have some Maderia M’dear!’ (complete with eloquent eyebrows, nifty voice changes and a lively sense of humour) and a tongue twister de luxe which has Helen blowing on her fingers to cool them down. Special mention needs to be made of a totally amazing ‘Something’s Coming’ from West Side Story, which manages all the swells and tricky sustained notes with the expertise of Jimmy Bryant who was Tony’s singing voice in the movie.