Music review: Minnie & Johnsonshow

Posted: October 16, 2011 in Theatre & Event Reviews and Interviews
Tags: , ,

 They’re  back!!

THE MINNIE AND JOHNSON SHOW. With Emile Minnie and Godfrey Johnson.

At Beefcakes, Somerset Road, Green Point. 

 

When Godfrey Johnson and Emile Minnie get together on stage for the first time they bring with them a wealth of talent, good humour, enthusiasm and experience.

Their show is a potpourri of English and Afrikaans light-hearted cabaret numbers to which they have added a dash of more sober songs. The duo takes us on a journey through some music from the eighties, which they have personalised with their unconventional sense of humour and, at times, bawdy lyrics. Bonnie Tyler, Bronski Beat and Eurythmics all get a bit of a nip and tuck. Both also perform a few of their original numbers. Their instruments: a keyboard, a saxophone, and a glass and pen; which Johnson uses as a percussion instrument. They may be very professional musicians but their act also involves quite a bit of gentle, self-depreciating, humour. However, it is obvious that they have a lot of respect for each others’ craft and skill. 

Emile Minnie has recently released his fifth Afrikaans album, Supernova. In 2009, his Nagmusiek album was nominated for a SAMA in the category Best Alternative Afrikaans Album. His voice is soothing and unpretentious yet confident. Eva, a song written by Minnie, is a moving tribute to all women, which had us in tears. Minnie’s lyrics are at times unexpectedly moving, ‘Haar hart is sag/soos n blom se lag. Roughly translated; ‘her heart is soft as a flower’s laugh. He is a skilled saxophonist and keyboard player.

Godfrey Johnson has established an impressive name for himself with his more serious work, such as The Shadow of Brel, which is his interpretation of the work of the musical genius of Jacques Brel. Johnson’s voice and theatricality lends is perfect for the dramatic works of Brel. In 2010 he was nominated for a Fleur du Cap for this performance. During the first half of the evening he performs Brel’s Carousel with great affection and zeal. However, he is also skilled at interpreting the lighter side of life. He has an off-beat sense of humour and great comic timing. He is not afraid to embrace the clown inside him. He has this expressive rubber face that he skillfully pulls and squeezes to the tune of the music. Johnson is very skilled at playing the keyboard. His fingers effortlessly fly over the keys. His interpretation of Cell Block Tango, from the musical Chicago, is brilliantly performed and crammed with witty local references. Johnson is also known for his collaborations with Pieter-Dirk Uys in his various cabarets and also for his musical direction for F.A.K Songs and Other Struggle Anthems.

When Minnie and Johnson combine their voices with a song such as Girl’s just want to have fun, the result is skilful and amusing. They have a quick costume change half-way through the performance.  The two slip into Springbok shirts and crazy wigs which add to the quirkiness of the show. The Minnie and Johnson Show will make for a good night out with friends. The food is also good and plentiful which makes a trip out to Beefcakes well worth the visit.

ASTRID STARK reviews

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