By Lungz Mathupha
It’s not every day that I get a sudden rush from a crescendo of drums, strings, and brass belting out a swinging melody, but that’s how a really great show should be started and From the Footlights didn’t disappoint.
Flanked by an 18-piece orchestra, a dapper-looking Jonathan Roxmouth took to the stage, proving why this local actor and pianist has been the star of world-renowned productions including Phantom of the Opera and West Side Story.
And boy is he a charmer. The tailored suits add to the allure, but besides his awe-inspiring vocal range, the guy’s also quite cheeky. The banter he eased into his performance was often jaw-dropping to most of the audience – the kind of stuff you can only get away with when you’re the star of the show.
The show included a myriad of musical hits including Who I’d Be from Shrek, Goodbye from Catch Me if You Can and All That Jazz from Chicago, which the orchestra and Roxmouth performed to the T.
The song that stuck out for most was Roxmouth’s moving rendition of Bring Him Home from Les Misérables. The performance was also dotted with guest appearances by other actors and songbirds.
The ending definitely left me wishing for a little more drama – which was plentiful in the first part of the show – but the overall performance was fantastic. It’s particularly noteworthy that although peppered with stage favourites, the performance also introduced the audience to lesser-known songs by contemporary Broadway composers creating a truly well-rounded, thrilling experience.
Roxmouth stars in Stephen Sondheim’s musical thriller: Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street from 9 October-29 November at Montecasino.