Gospel Easter festivities at Joburg Theatre

Gospel Spectacular is a feel-good show for the whole family and has something for fans of virtually every gospel genre.

Gospel is South Africa’s top music genre and now Joburg Theatre and ATTV take South Africa’s favourite gospel songs and stage them in a multimedia spectacular that includes giant LED screens, video projections, lasers, pyrotechnics and other special effects. Gospel Spectacular will run on The Mandela stage from 13 to 23 April 2017. Heading up the 30-strong cast are top South African gospel and pop artists Brian Temba, Connell Cruise and Mahalia Buchanan, backed by a big ensemble of singers and dancers. Traditional gospel legend Teboho Moloi also makes a special appearance. Not only will the cast perform everyone’s gospel favourites like ‘O Happy Day’, ‘Malibongwe’, ‘Stomp’, ‘Moya Wam’ and ‘Joyful, Joyful’, each will also perform some of their own songs, so fans won’t go away disappointed! From pop hits like ‘Shackles’ (Mary, Mary) to traditional songs ‘O Mpha Tsohle’ (Teboho Moloi), movie favourites like ‘I Will Follow Him’, to light classics like ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘The Prayer’, to sing-along praise songs like ‘Ancient of Days’ and ‘Jesu Ke Moloki Waka’, Gospel Spectacular has it all! Even Carman’s dramatic story song, ‘The Champion’, gets staged with incredible lighting, graphics and stage effects.

Brian Temba is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning singer, songwriter and record producer. He is also an actor with both theatre and television experience. Temba was the first South African to play the role of Simba in the Award-winning musical The Lion King on the West End Stage at Lyceum Theatre in the UK for five years. Before that, he was part of the original LA Cast of The Lion King, performed at the Pantages Theatre, USA. He was part of the Lion and the Lamb musical play directed by John Kani at the Market Theatre in 1999.

Fresh from his time in the United States performing at iconic venues such as The Bitter End in New York City and The Troubadour in Los Angeles, Connell Cruise has returned to South Africa to continue his meteoric music career. His debut hit ‘Not Just Friends’ took South African radio stations by storm and garnered him three SAMA nominations. He has since topped the charts throughout the country with eleven hit singles. His release of his EP ‘Into the Wild’ introduced him to international music audiences and created worldwide social media buzz. Connell’s unique sound and established success, coupled with his determination and relentless work ethic, grabbed the attention of none other than music industry legend L.A. Reid. Connell’s deal with Island Records in 2015 is regarded as the largest record deal in South African music history. He has written and produced music with a long list of established international hit-makers, such as Ido Zmishlany, John Ryan, and Teddy Geiger. He is currently working with David Gresham Records on an upcoming album, to be released next year.

A gifted vocalist and a worship leader, Mahalia Buchanan, recognised music’s impact at a very young age, treasuring it as a gift. With her warm and powerful voice, Buchanan’s musical accomplishments in the gospel industry never cease to amaze. Foremost on the list of her strong musical journey is her contribution to South Africa’s biggest gospel group and global name, Joyous Celebration. She was also afforded a presenting platform on Gospel Truth, a musical programme on South Africa’s most popular gospel channel. Buchanan has performed extensively as a soloist. However, the ultimate highlight of her entire musical journey was evident when she delivered a seismic solo performance with internationally renowned gospel artist and Pastor, Donnie McClurkin.

Teboho Moloi was born in Kestell, Eastern Free State, a small town between Bethlehem and Qwaqwa. He started singing at his church, St. John’s Apostolic Church at the age of twelve. He later joined a local band and started to experiment with keyboards. He would sing at retail stores in shopping centres, mainly in Qwaqwa in front of crowds where he began to gain popularity. Moloi got his first break in 2005 and recorded Emmanuel. He has performed alongside greats such as Sfiso Ncwane, Solly Mahlangu, Rebecca Malope, Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Benjamin Dube and Joyous Celebration. He has also performed on Season 2 & Season 3 of a show called Gospel Classics and Gospel Time on SABC2 on Sundays.

Award-winning creative director Andrew Timm is responsible for mounting one of the most ambitious musical extravaganzas of the year. The choreography is by showbiz veteran Sandy Dyer, and the musical director is Dale Scheepers, former musical director for Showtime Australia and band leader of the Joburg Theatre Panto 2017. ‘Gospel Spectacular will be just that,’ says Andrew Timm. ‘Patrons will be dazzled by the sheer visual spectacle of it all, but the real stars of the show are the songs; there’s something in the show for everyone.’

Tickets range from R100 to R250 and are available by visiting www.joburgtheatre.com or calling 0861 670 670, and through Webtickets. For group bookings of ten or more, please contact the theatre directly on 011 877 6853/6815.

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