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Up On the Roof is a Thrill Ride Through The Carole King Songbook

Review of Up On the Roof – The Carole King Songbook

I’ve never really paid much attention to shows happening at Theatre On the Bay, but Up On the Roof – The Carole King Songbook caught my eye on an online ticketing site and I just had to see it, and albeit a few days late due to my busy schedule, I’ve finally gotten around to writing this.

With only a few nights left running until 21 October 2023 at Camps Bay’s Theatre on the Bay, the show has a limited number of tickets still available, meaning you can still catch the last of the Cape Town run. The show then moves to a completely Sold Out Montecasino Main Theatre, Johannesburg from 2 to 26 November.

I haven’t been to Theatre On the Bay before and me unashamedly being a Carole King fan, my expectations were high. I grew up on her music and my mom who was and remains a massive fan obviously I had to have her there too.

Carole King at the Piano at A & M Studios – Photo by Louise Goffin from the Carole King Facebook Page

This show by Pieter Toerien Productions was amazing! The presentation was brilliant, perfectly choreographed and flawlessly executed, and the best part was the all-female cast of vocalists.
Five beautiful ladies each blessed with the gift of song, dance, and the talent for several musical instruments. The costumes were perfectly chosen to represent the queen Carole King herself.

Theatre On the Bay is comfy and not at all stuffy. There’s a bar which offers a variety of drinks and what appears to be a cake fridge or mini restaurant counter.
The show started promptly at 8pm as per the tickets found on Webtickets which, priced between R150 and R300, were not expensive at all. (Only tickets upwards of R200 remain available for Cape Town.)
The recital of poetry to introduce each song with accompaniment that ranged from a cello to a piano among various other instruments.

The Glass Rooftop Skylight of the Up On The Roof Set – Photo by Anthea Bissolati

Up On the Roof absolutely delivers on its promise to be an unforgettable tribute show dedicated to the timeless music of the legendary singer-songwriter.
Renowned for her extraordinary contributions to the music industry, Ms. King has left an indelible mark with her iconic compositions such as You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman, I Feel the Earth Move, and You’ve Got a Friend.

The intermission halfway through allowed patrons to take photos with the cast for which there was a bit of a clamour which we decided to avoid.
The bar was also open for those wanting a drink or a snack during intermission and even though it was quite busy, we managed to get drinks, which was great.
With a run time of about two hours, we were fully entertained and in absolute awe from beginning to end.

The piano of the Up On the Roof Set – Photo by Anthea Bissolati

Along with my mom and I were my 16-year-old daughter and her friend. They enjoyed every minute of the show and were amazed to find how many of the songs they actually knew because so many popular artists have either performed songs Carole King wrote for them or they’ve covered songs she wrote and sang herself.

This show also surprised with songs that were not classified as super hits back in the day but continue to influence popular culture today.
‘Where You Lead” is a song written by Carole King and her daughter Louise Goffin.
My daughter is a huge fan of the Gilmore Girls TV series and she binge watched the entire series at least three times. She was so shocked and her whole face lit up with recognition when the cast performed ‘Where You Lead’ which is the Gilmore Girls theme song.
After the show she said to me “Wow Mom, I didn’t know she wrote such popular songs”

In essence, seeing this was more than worth every cent and truly one of the best performances I have been to in a long time.
If you can, try and see this and if you have teenaged kids, then take them along.
In fact, take them along to any shows that pay tribute to any of the great artists of yesteryear.
They need to learn about the artists who like Carole King have paved the way for so many others.
Art is the gift that keeps on giving.

What do you think?

Written by Anthea Bissolati

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