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August 9   -   ArtsJournal: music

Resurrecting The Most Legendary Musical In South Africa's History (It Was Suppressed Under Apartheid)

"Nelson and Winnie Mandela were in the crowd. Miriam Makeba was the female lead. Abdullah Ibrahim played inconspicuously in the orchestra, as did a teenage Hugh Masekela, on a trumpet given to him by Louis Armstrong. Thrilled by what they saw and heard, the audience members, at first roped into 'white' and 'nonwhite' sections, refused to leave the theater after the show ... On the opening night of the musical King Kong [in 1959], a black composer, Todd Matshikiza; a white creative team; and a 72-strong black cast offered the audience a vision of another kind of country, in which creativity and collaboration prevailed." After nearly 60 years, King Kong is being updated and revived in Cape Town.


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