There are some really exciting upcoming shows and I’m making the most of what’s on offer. Looking forward to seeing Fascinating Aida next Saturday 26th. I heard the cast being interviewed by Jenny Crwys-Williamson Radio 702. Dillie Keane, Adele Anderson and Liza Pulman received rave reviews in their January 2011 run of the show and have been well reviewed in their current show which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2011. See http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-01-18-fascinating-aida-all-drolled-up. The show runs until 27th at Jan Pieter Toerien’s Theatre at Monte Casino. Apparently it is hysterically funny – we NEED belly aching laughter in our lives!
I’m also going to Mies Julie, currently running at the Market Theatre. Based on Strindberg’s play Miss Julie, it’s been adapted and directed by Yael Farber and also played at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Farber comments on the contemporary relevance of her adaptation of this late 19th Century play: ‘The events that ignite overnight in the play, in this remote farmland kitchen, reflect the larger dilemmas of the nation and, indeed, today’s world’. The cast includes Thoko Ntshinga as Christine with Bongile Mantsai as John and Hilda Cronje as Julie. The show runs until the 24th February.
And in late February I have tickets booked to see Alan Committie the stand-up comedian. I have never seen him and apparently he is side-splittingly funny. He runs at the Pieter Toerien Theatre from 30th January until 3rd March.
Also running at the Market is The Island, the classic 1973 play by Athol Fugard, John Kani & Winston Ntshona. Billed as ‘a classical remake with a youthful twist’, the play tells the story of two prisoners on Robben Island, John and Winston, who are rehearsing a performance of Sophocles’ Antigone. When John learns his sentence is being reduced, the men’s friendship is tested. This time around, the play will be performed Atandwa Kani, who was last seen at the Market in The Miser, and Nat Ramabulana, last seen in The Girl in the Yellow Dress. The play runs at the Barney Simon until the 24th March.
The Soweto String Quartet are performing at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, on 26th January with both old classics as well as newer works. Book at Computicket or phone 011 248-5000. And South Africa’s well-known acoustic guitarist, Tony Cox, makes two appearances in Joburg in January. On Sun 27th January he will play at Lucky Bean in Melville at 8,30 pm Booking 011 48205572 and on Wed 30th Jan at 8p, he will be at the Acoustic Forum Marks Park Emmarentia Booking082 651 1094.
There are a couple of jazz evenings this coming week-end at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square. Friday, 25th Jan the South African jazz group The Red Hand Blues Band will feature and on Sat 26th January & Sunday 27th Jan the shows will include performances by Dutch jazz duo of Denise Jannah and Wolf Martini as well as American jazz pianist John Fresk.
Also at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square from 5th -17th February is a one-woman show Santa’s Story, which dramatizes the autobiography of a 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Santa Pelham. Directed by Janice Honeyman the production mixes story- telling and live music. An extra twist is given to this autobiography in that Santa Pelham is played by none other than her own daughter. As Santa moves through Europe the sense of place and culture is evoked through song reflective of the different parts of Europe.
As part of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival there is a Choreography Concert (free improvisations of Bach Solo Cello Suites accompanied by dance) with Erich Oskar Huetter (cello) and Tanja ‘Tanima’ Schmid (dance)a University of Graz/Vienna State Opera Ballet School graduate . Erich Oskar Huetter has performed as an orchestra soloist with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim. At the Fringe Joburg Theatre Wed 30th Jan.
And in a totally different musical vein, Michael Jackson impersonator Kenny Wizz stars in the Michael Jackson HIStory ll Show. Kenny Wizz ‘direct from Vegas’ is billed as ‘the best Michael Jackson impersonator in the world’. The production moves from the Jackson 5 era to the current decade including songs such as ABC, Ben, Smooth Criminal, Beat It amongst others. It shows at the Joburg Theatre (the Mandela) until 13th February.
It will be followed by another recreation of pop music: The Queen Experience at the Joburg Theatre from 12th – 17th Feb. First staged in The Netherlands in Nov 2011 at the Gelredome Soccer Stadium in Arnhem to a sold-out crowd of over 30,000 people. Joseph Clark first performed Queen’s music the popular Queen At The Opera. (Dare I say I lurv Queen’s music, so this might be another one I try to get to.)
Now that’s a great line up for the start of 2013. Yes?
We’ve been informed that we’ve been chosen as a winner in the B&Bs and Inns category by TripAdvisor in its 2013 Travelers’ Choice® awards. At no 25 we just scraped in, but we are one of only 2 guesthouses in Gauteng to make it into the top 25 in South Africa. Out of 25 award winning B&Bs, 21 are in the Western Cape.
Now in its eleventh year, the annual TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards honour the world’s best hotels, earning their distinction from those who know them best – real travelers. Unlike any other hotel honours, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travelers around the world. Christine Petersen, president, TripAdvisor for Business says: “TripAdvisor is once again thrilled to recognize the world’s most outstanding hotels with the help of more than 75 million reviews and opinions from travelers around the globe. From the best bargain hotels to top luxury properties, outstanding service, value and quality are the hallmarks of our Travelers’ Choice winners.”
For reviews on the Liz at Lancaster go to http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Hotels-cInnsBB-g293740#25.
As always thank you to all our guests for your loyal support and to those who have written reviews of Liz at Lancaster. And remember, if you haven’t reviewed us, it’s never too late !
On 24th January an exhibition entitled To Photograph the Details of a Dark Horse in Low Light featuring the work of Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin opens at the Goodman Gallery. Broomberg & Chanarin have been shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony at The Photographers’ Gallery in May 2013.
Opening on 30th January at the Standard Bank Gallery Cnr Frederick and Harrison Streets is Making Way Contemporary Art from South Africa and China. The exhibition has been curated by Ruth Simbao Associate Professor at Rhodes University Fine Arts. The exhibition runs until the 28th March. Running concurrently in the downstairs gallery is Fire! the role of heat and light in African Art curated by Barbara Freemantle.
Circa on Jellicoe’s first exhibition for 2013 features Anthea Pokroy’s I Collect Gingers. See http://www.circaonjellicoe.co.za/?m=2&s=3
Great photos of Faith 47 at David Krut in Parkwood : http://davidkrutprojects.com/exhibitions/2012-11-1_faith-47_proj-js. This exhibition runs until the 19th January.
The exhibition of French works continues at the Johannesburg Art Gallery until 10 March 2013. http://france-southafrica.com/programmation/french-connections/
At Goethe on Main (at Arts on Main) a photographic exhibition Interface 2012 brings together the work of 5 artists who, using iPhones, have mapped the stories along a pedestrian path from Cato Ridge to Durban inner city. The exhibition runs until the 10th March.
Trees a group show opens at In Toto Gallery, Birdhaven on 31st January. Four artists, currently under the mentorship and guidance of Ricky Burnett, come together in an evocative exhibition that celebrates the visual, formal aspects of trees, as well as the powerful impact they have on the world around us.
Trees and landscape seem to be the flavour of the month with a Tony Manning’s photographic exhibition of Trees at the Everard Read Gallery.
Loom of the land curated by Anton Kannemeyer and opening at Stevenson Gallery in Juta Street Braamfontein, promises to be a really engaging exhibition. There are some very interesting artists including Conrad Botes, Wim Botha, Peter Clarke, Paul Edmunds, David Goldblatt, Ian Grose, Pieter Hugo, Anton Kannemeyer, Mark Kannemeyer (Lorcan White), Jacques Loustal, Johann Louw, Mack Magagane, Titus Matiyane, Zanele Muholi, Brett Murray, John Murray, Daniel Naudé, Hylton Nel, Deborah Poynton, Jo Ractliffe, Claudette Schreuders, Ina van Zyl, Garth Walker. The exhibition runs until 1st March.
On 31st January photographer Johannes Dreyer’s exhibition The Troyeville Bedtime Story opens at MOMO in 7th Ave Parktown North. Lesfolies promises: ‘a limited quantity of fine wine and interesting characters everywhere on the walls and others standing on the floors talking about the ones on the walls and making eyes at each other’ Sounds good ! The show runs until the 7th February.
At AOP at 44 Stanley St is an exhibition entitled Dynamic Stasis featuring a new body of collaborative work by the digital artist Nathaniel Stern and printmaker Jessica Meuninck-Ganger (both currently lecturing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). This exhibition premieres 14 new works. Each of the main works combines a print (or drawing) on translucent paper, which is overlaid on a looped video playing on a LCD photo-viewing screen. The exhibition is on until the 16th February.
Joburg is host to several major expos during the year some of which are listed below. The Dome is a very popular exhibition venue and while there are many accommodation establishments in that area, many exhibitors and visitors choose to stay in the Parks Region to be close to the Rosebank neighbourhood and restaurant life in the evenings. Northgate is 13km away from Liz at Lancaster along Jan Smuts Ave, Republic Rd and then Malibongwe Drive.
The Wedding Expo will be at the Northgate on 6 and 7 April 2013 and 24 – 25 August 2013 www.wedding-expo.co.za , this is followed not long after: 30 Aug-1 Sept, by the the Getaway Show also at the Dome Northgate. This is Africa’s leading travel and outdoor show. www.getawayshow.co.za
Arts Alive month is September and this sees the FNB Joburg Art Fair at the Sandton Convention Centre. This fair brings together the best galleries from South Africa and the rest of Africa. The dates Sunday 22 September to Tuesday 24 September still have to be confirmed.
The Good Food & Wine Show, runs at the Dome, Northgate from 21 – 24 September. www.goodfoodandwineshow.co.za and in October (23rd – 25th) Winex will be on at the Sandton Convention Centre.
If one of your goals in 2013 is to take more time off and get fit while also getting into nature, then we have lots right on our doorstep in Joburg. I was sent the Friends of Kloofendal newsletter and was amazed by the range of activities and events on offer.
Run by Joburg City Parks, Kloofendal is a nature reserve some 20 km from Liz at Lancaster in Roodepoort at Cnr Galena Ave & Amphitheatre (also called Veronica) Str. (just over an half hour drive). It was founded on the site of the first payable gold mining operation of 1884 (this was prior to the main reefs being discovered) and the old shafts have been restored and are national monuments, open to view. The wildlife is generally of the smaller variety, the main attraction being the pristine vegetation contained by the reserve. Walking trails criss-cross the area and there is a bird hide at the small dam on the reserve. The reserve also is home to the geological site of Confidence Reef.
To find out more contact Friends of Kloofendal (FroK) www.kloofendalfriends.org.za
On the last Sunday every month from 2 – 4pm Rod Kruger a gold mining historian leads a walk in reserve exploring the Confidence Reef Goldmine in Kloofendal. Here he introduces you to the gold mining characters involved in Johannesburg’s early gold mining history as well as to the functioning of the stamp mill. Fee R50 per adult, R25 per child.
And these are but some of the upcoming events for Jan, Feb and early March:
Sat 12th Jan 4.30-8.30pm Bats
Sat 19th Jan 6-8pm Nocturnal Creatures with Grant Egen
Sat 26th Jan 6-8pm & Sat 9th Feb 6-8pm Frogs 6-8pm with Warren Schmidt Author of “Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern Africa”
Sat 2nd Feb 6-8pm Nocturnal spiders with Astri Leroy Co-author with John Leroy Spiders of Southern Africa
19th Jan 9-12 Grass course Karin Spottiswoode
Sat 26th Jan 9-12 & Sun 24th Feb 9-12 Bushfood & drink walk Guided walk, picking & tasting various edible fruits, collecting leaves for various teas, coffee beans, collecting fruits in preparation for making mampoer to be consumed at a later date. Walk is followed by tasting the “harvest” and some previously prepared produce (jam) from the reserve. Cost: R60 per adult, R30 per child with Clr Tim Truluck from Slow Foods+ Karin Spottiswoode
Sun 27 Jan 8-12 Spiders and Scorpions with Jonathon Leeming
Sat 2nd Feb 9-12 Trees with Karin Spottiswoode
Sun 3rd Feb 9-12 Mushrooms and Fungi with Bernice Porter Mycologist
Sat 9th Feb 9-12 Water Insects with Bernice Aspoas Entomologist
Sat 23rd Feb 9-11 & Sun 3rd March Spider walk with Astri Leroy
Sun 2nd March 9-11 Geology with Tony Jamison
So combine taking time out with getting into the outdoors and learning more about Joburg’s natural environment.
Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular way of seeing local Joburg sites and sights. Lebo of Sowetobicycle tours has for many years offered cycling tours. There are various options on offer starting from a 2 hour tour which includes a visit to a worker’s hostel, the Hector Pieterson Museum as well as the route of the student march, the Mandela Museum and a local shebeen. The 4 hour tour includes additional sites and for the more energetic there is a full day tour. You can either meet at 10823A Pooe Street Orlando West (thank heavens for GPS/Garmins/Tom Toms) or they will collect you from where you are staying (if it’s a relatively central location). Contact email@example.com or 011 936 3444 or cell phone number 084 851 8681
More recently the worldwide citizen initiative of ‘taking to the streets’ in the form of Critical Mass has taken off. As they say on their Facebook page: “Critical Mass is not about taking back the city. That’s Nike’s line. The city already belongs to everyone.” The first ride was in September 2007 and consisted of about 20 people who met in Newtown went through the CBD and ended in Braamfontein. Now there are over 2,500 riders who meet on the last Friday of the month. Haven’t managed to do a ride but 2013 I will! The more enthusiastic and fitter meet in Dunkeld and ride into Braamfontein. For the less fit, you can meet in Braamfontein at 19h15 cnr De Beer and Juta Sts. You’re advised to take food and drinks as the shops en-route can’t cope with the demand. A great atmosphere and fun evening by all accounts. For more see http://www.jhblive.com/kultcha/features/critical_white/124609
And then there is Alex. Traditionally this tiny township on the edge of Sandton has had a reputation of being overcrowded, squalid and dangerous. However 2 young energetic local entrepreneurs have started overturning these perceptions by taking bicycle tours through this under-resourced part of Joburg. In 2010 when Jeffrey Muluadzi was playing hockey, his coach asked Jeffrey to show him around Alex. There were 2 bikes in Jeffrey’s home and so off they went. Small things led to bigger things and having enjoyed it so much, when the coach had visitors during the 2010 World Cup, he asked Jeffrey to take them all on a tour of Alex. From 2 bikes Jeffrey has gradually built up to 22. Now he works with Antony Mmatli (23) – Jeffrey is only 20 - and they are passionate about bringing people to experience a little bit of life in Alex. A 2 hour tour costs R300 and a 4 hour tour costs R400. To arrange a tour : www.alexandratours.co.za Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Antony Mmatli 071 546 8927
We had guests who stayed last here last week who had dinner at one of the Parks new drinking-eateries – the Griffin in Illovo Junction, about 4 km from Liz at Lancaster at the top of Corlett Drive. They said it was really fun – lots of young people, with a great vibe and atmosphere. The owners Thom Hughes and Martin Jakoby are no strangers to restaurants in the north of Jozi as they owned The Office in Greenside, The Attic on 4th Ave Parkhurst, and The Loft in Melville. Here at The Griffin, Hughes and Jakoby have gone for the popular new eating style of ‘gastro-pub’ with a special twist of offering ‘craft beer’ – with at least 20 types on offer. A great veranda adds to the appeal of this venue. Booking is essential 011 447-9842 And the really great news is that there’s a parking lot available opposite the Junction. Their website is still under construction. (For another popular new gastro-pub The Foundry see http://lizatlancaster.co.za/blog/new-restaurant-at-the-steakhouse-corner-in-parktown-north)Also at Illovo Junction is Trabella, still THE BEST pizza place in Joburg. I went to Trabella when Tracy first opened her very small,very basic, low key pizzeria in the early 2000’s. But her fabulous cooking skills, generous salads and great pizzas soon made here a firm favourite neigbourhood restaurant. Now that Illovo Junction has been revamped Trabella has a newly styled home, but Tracy continues to serve up simple food with great taste sensations and particularly fabulous pizzas. Highly recommended. 011 442- 0413
Next door to Trabella, Oliva Bar and Kitchen is also a small and intimate venue. I celebrated a friend’s birthday there a couple of years back with a great lunch of tapas starters followed by mains such as line fish, paella and other suitable Mediterranean dishes. It has a nice ambience and the tapas were particularly good. Like Trabella it’s advisable to book: 011 025 5225
And finally another for ‘coffee, cake and stuff’ meet at Wolves the brain child of Shane and Angie Durrant Described in the Blog: (http://blog.sa-venues.com/provinces/gauteng/the-cutest-little-indie-coffee-shop-in-africa-wolves/ ) as ‘fun, artsy and welcoming’ cupcakes seem to be one of their particular trademarks. To get more of a feel for their funky zaniness visit their website www.wolves.co.za. Shane and Angie also own the adjacent Good Luck Club next door which specializes in South East Asian fare like Dim Sum, Thai curries and noodle dishes. Dinner Tuesday to Saturday and lunch only Saturday 011 447 – 3816
So the newly revamped Illovo Junction is another great addition to Joburg’s wining, dining and meeting hubs.
The new Parkhurst Square has opened. Designed by Sheldon Bakos of Integrale Architects, it is set to revitalize the northern end of 4th Ave. Although it is a three storey building which is a little out of keeping with the single storey converted houses along the rest of the street, the building is aesthetically pleasing with its sensitive use of materials: timber, face-brick and a wonderful stone clad clock tower. According to Bakos it is designed with ‘green’ principles in mind which is an added bonus – appealing and functional. Melissa’s has been a major draw-card since it opened last week, and there are several other restaurants which will add further choice to 4th Ave as a meeting, eating and dining destination. Also located at Parkhurst Square is Simply Asia (074 870 2506), Coobs Bistro (011 447 0710) and a chain steak house restaurant from the past – Squires Loft, (011 025 8725) so popular in the late 1970s and early 80s. Also great news – there is underground basement parking which should help alleviate the demand for street parking and avoid City Council’s paid parking bays (arising from an unpopular and flawed decision taken without any consultation.)
Joburg Theatre never has a huge number of shows on offer as there is only a limited number of theatres, but as always what is available, promises not only a wide range of productions (although mostly in the comedic vein) but also excellent quality theatre.
The wonderful holiday fare starts with Janice Honeyman’s annual festive season pantomime – Jack and the Beanstalk at the Joburg Theatre. Great review including http://www.iol.co.za/tonight/what-s-on/gauteng/review-jack-the-beanstalk-1.1418289#.UKddlWfCaSo
Potted Potter opens on 23rd Nov at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre. It is a very funny parody by Dan & Jeff (double Olivier Award Best Entertainment nominees Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner) – Starring Gary Trainor and Jesse Briton & condensing all seven Harry Potter books and a game of Quidditch into 70 minutes. It is billed as brilliant family entertainment – perfect for ages six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed). The show is a must-see for Potter addicts and a great introduction to the series for anyone who’s ever wondered what all the fuss is about. Runs until 6th January.
Jonathan Roxmouth & Taryn Sudding play Noel and Gertie in the musical revue by Sheridan Morley based on the words and music of Noel Coward and showing at Pieter Toerien’s Studio Theatre at Monte Casino. The production, which tells the story of Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence, is directed by Alan Swerdlow. Lukewarm review from Lesley Stones: http://www.artlink.co.za/news_article.htm?contentID=31629 Also finishes on 6th January.
Another festive season show, just right to lift the spirits with a supremely funny, talented and energetic cast, is Greg Homann’s Pirates of Penzance at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square. I saw it last year and loved every minute – it’s the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta done by five men and a piano- very very funny and very very clever and NTBM – Not To Be Missed. You have until 22nd Dec to see it.
A completely different genre of comedy is showing at The Market Theatre in a Music and Comedy Festival. Comedians include – Mark Banks, Alan Committie, Siv Ngesi, Eugene Khoza, Trevor Gumbi & Tumi Morake while music stars include Lira, Thandiswa Mazwai, Zahara, Oliver Mtukudzi, Trompies, Rebecca Malope. And this is not all – in the theatre’s intimate setting, audiences can experience wonderful opera and classical music from the likes of Opera Africa, Soweto Quadro and Inferno Opera. For details of the line-up see http://markettheatre.co.za/shows/watch/comedy-and-music-extravaganza. Finishes 9th December.
Pieter Toerien’s current big stage show at the Teatro Monte Casino is Dirty Dancing (l’m looking forward to seeing it in early December) which has had good reviews http://www.citypress.co.za/Entertainment/News/Review-A-down-and-dirty-classic-20121109 It shows until 13th January and after that we have Tap Dogs to look forward to (opening on 12th March until 10th March) and then Jersey Boys from 3rd to 28th April.
And keeping to the comedy vein is The Miser, Sylvaine Strike’s Fortune Cookie Theatre Company contemporary interpretation of Moliere’s 1668 classic, showing at the Market Theatre. Lesley Stones in The Daily Maverick of 29th October http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-10-29-the-miser-the-characters-cheap-but-the-storys-pure-riches writes: ‘The script is witty, barbed and insightful, the acting is outstanding, the comic touches of movement and expressions are superb and the costumes are amazing. It all comes together to create a deliciously over-the-top show bubbling with humour and satire’ And : ‘The Miser is Commedia dell’Arte in style … [featuring] stock characters like foolish old men and devious servants. …. It’s almost a precursor to farce or pantomime, with flamboyant characters, innuendos, misunderstandings and plenty of exits and entrances. … It’s delightfully ludicrous and ludicrously delightful’. I’m looking forward to seeing it before it closes on 9th December.
I find Joburgers amazing – somehow they have an invisible communication system when it comes to trendy new places to meet and mingle. There are some restaurants which are packed from day one – no gradual building up of business and growing through word of mouth. No, … these restaurants open their doors and ‘wham’ on day one, they are serve full houses. The Foundry is one of these restaurants which has added to the choice at the ‘Steak Corner’ in nearby Parktown North (cnr 7th Ave and 3rd Ave). Joining Wombles, The Local Grill and Turn and Tender, The Foundry is described as a gastro pub – where drinking hole meets tapas bar. Like the Griffin at Illovo Junction, it specializes in craft beer with many local brews on tap. While there are steaks and hamburgers on the menu, there is something for everybody. Tantalizing charcuterie and cheese ‘planks’, a great range of salads, risottos, pizzas and pastas, pan-fried line fish, and more. How does this sound: ‘handmade ravioli filled with field mushrooms, feta and spring onions and drizzled with herb-infused truffle olive oil, pine nuts and rocket’ or ‘Linguini with crab claw meat, fresh herbs, lemon zest, red chili, red roasted pepper, garlic and olive oil’ . There’s a cocktail bar as well as the The Parquet coffee bar. The decor is rustic yet slick with wooden ceilings, Swazi glass light fittings and the interior back wall being taken up by Space Alchemy’s cement art work which illusionistically extends the restaurant’s space.