A night to remember, last night seen the premier of the ‘Smurfs Live on Stage’ at Emperors Palace; an international theatrical that has made star appearances around the globe. Currently in South Africa, we had the pleasure of being invited to its premier. Not knowing what to expect we made our way to the Theater of Marcellus at Emperors Palace. A single filed line had already been forming and a welcome table lay laden with small sealed buckets bearing the Smurfs insignia. Unaware of it’s contents, I could hardly wait to receive mines. As the anticipation grew, we made it to the front of the line where we signed the attendance register in return for our tickets and buckets. At this point, my attention had shifted from the contents of the bucket (which turned out to be popcorn) to a table packed with cool Smurf merchandise located closer to the entrance doors.Shortly after receiving our goodies, the theater doors swung open and attendees were allowed to walk the red carpet as they entered the theater hall. Greeted by a welcome juice at the entrance, an usher assisted us to our seats.
Lights, Camera and Action…
At 18:30 sharp the lights dimmed and the characters made their appearance. A colorful stage, the props complemented the backdrops with each scene having its own unique setting. Coupled with good lighting and superb sound effects, the stage was set for a non-stop fun-filled evening. An aspect that I found most appealing was the attention to detail alongside the transition of viewpoint as the scenes changed. Most difficult in a theater production where special effects are limited are the allowable dimensions of characters and even the sizes of the Smurfs in relation to human beings had been carefully contemplated and portrayed in an ingenious way that made the acceptance of life sized costumes admissible. The voices were equally impressive with voices that sounded almost exactly as the cartoon characters, making it difficult to recall any differences, if any at all.
The costume designers did a fantastic job with the costumes. Evident with most costumes, a lack of proportion reduces authenticity. The Smurfs however, were in perfect proportion to the width and sizes of the original cartoon characters and the perfectly choreographed movements by actors were nostalgic of a cartoon that we all had grown up to love.
The story revolves around The Smurfs attempt to regain spring after Gargamel’s conniving plot against Mother Nature to steal it away; and of course trapping the Smurfs in the process. Without giving much away, the story line had been well scripted. Not too complex for young children to lose track of the story, and neither too basic for adults to lose interest. The cheering of adults and kids alike could be heard resonating off of the theater walls and rounds of applause met the climax of many a scene.
Having been last to a theater several years ago, I initially found it to be a little cramped. Unable to leave my seat without much disruption to other attendees resulted in me being ‘seat bound’. Coupled with the fact that my neighbor was very loud, sitting in close proximity to him allowed us to hear the thoughts that his busy mind projected. This feeling was short lived though as silence began to set in and the show began. For children, leather cushions to elevate their height lay neatly packed in the entrance hall. These are placed on seats enabling shorter people to better view the stage. Also, a wheelchair ramp provides access for people with disabilities. Taken all into account, feelings of irritability dissipate quickly and are soon forgotten as the show progresses. Overall the Theater of Marcellus proved to be a good venue that caters for all.
A much thought of production coupled with an experienced cast, beautifully crafted costumes and intriguing props within the confines of a theater that boasts awesome lighting and superb sound effects -I am admittedly a fan. With a rating score of 8 stars out of 10 on the GH scale of events, I would advise taking along the entire family for an awesome night out.
Prices: From R150.00
Period: 13 – 30 July 2017
View the trailer here