Abrahamse & Meyer and VR Theatrical team up to present new musical Star+Crossed at Artscape
Photo Credit Fiona MacPherson
Abrahamse & Meyer Productions and VR Theatrical join forces to present the world première of a thrilling new musical, Star+Crossed, inspired by the life of one of South Africa’s most eccentric daughters, Elizabeth Klarer, at the Artscape Arena from 9 - 31 December 2022.
Klarer gained fame and notoriety during the height of apartheid with her incredible claim that she was abducted by an Alien from the foothills of the Drakensberg, transported to his Utopian planet in the Alpha Centauri System, where she bore him a son, before returning to earth, to spread his message of love, compassion, and his urgent call to protect our planet and find more sustainable ways of living here on earth.
Spanning almost nine decades, from 1910 with the formation of the Union of South Africa, until 1994 when Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Star+Crossed explores how we use stories and fantasies to transmute a dark, barren world into something more meaningful, mythic, and beautiful.
The musical, with book and lyrics by Marcel Meyer and music by Wessel Odendaal, centres on two unlikely people finding each other in extraordinary circumstances while forging a profound connection that transcends, time, space, and South Africa’s oppressive apartheid laws.
An interstellar love story for the ages with a lush, romantic, original score that is bound to transport audiences to the stratosphere and beyond.
Librettist and co-producer Marcel Meyer explains:
“At its heart, Star+Crossed celebrates the power of storytelling. Which stories we choose to tell, how we tell them and why. We are excited to share this unique and powerful story with theatre lovers in the Mother City. Star+Crossed not only brings to life a brand-new, proudly South African narrative, it also showcases the talent of some of the top industry professionals currently working in the theatre sector.”
Isabella Jane stars as Bess, the role inspired by Klarer. Ms Jane recently won a Fleur Du Cap Award for her breakthrough performance in the international tour of Evita. Apart from being a sought-after actress and vocalist, Ms Jane, was also Runner-up during the 2015 season of SA’s Got Talent on local television.
Joining her in the role of Billy, Bess’s childhood friend, is celebrated musical theatre leading-man, Earl Gregory. Mr Gregory is no stranger to Cape Town audiences having made his debut in the title role of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much-loved Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Theatre on the Bay, to his recent award-winning turn as Lola in the Fugard Theatre’s production of Kinky Boots.
Gregory states excitedly;
“Lending my voice to creating a role is a dream I never knew I had. How wonderfully freeing it is as an actor to walk into the creative space with no point of reference to any version that has ever existed before. I get to play my part in a way that is unique to Earl Gregory and that is my power. South Africa has such a diverse landscape for our stories to be told, and I am proud to have a small part in presenting something that has so much potential and possibility on offer.
"WHY LOOK TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH WHEN THERE IS SO MUCH TO SEE RIGHT HERE."
Multi Award-winning Fred Abrahamse directs and designs the set, with Faheem Bardien [Lighting Design], Kirsti Cumming [AV design] and Marcel Meyer [costume design] making up the remainder of the creative team. Composer, Wessel Odendaal is responsible for the Musical Direction and Orchestration.
The musical was developed with generous funding received from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture through their Mzansi Golden Economy initiative.
Besides gaining international acclaim for their innovative re-inventions of classic texts, Abrahamse & Meyer Productions have long been at the forefront of producing original South African musicals like Bangbroek Mountain , In Briefs  and most recently a developmental staging of History Girls . Producing partner.
VR Theatrical, is one of South Africa’s newest and most dynamic production companies with a string of hit shows like Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shirley Valentine and the Simon & Garfunkel musical, Here’s To You.
In anticipation of the musical’s opening, a digital Original Cast Album will be released on all major music platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify. Release information to be made available at a later date.
Star+Crossed runs from 9 - 31 December 2022 in the Artscape Arena, Cape Town.
Performances are Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8pm, with additional matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm.
Tickets range from R200 – R250.
Bookings are now open and available via Computicket / Shoprite Checkers outlets, Computicket online or Artscape Dial-a-Seat.
Discounts are available for students/scholars, pensioners, and block bookings of 10 or more direct from Artscape Box Office and Artscape Dial-Seat.
Star+Crossed runs for 90 minutes with no interval.
BRIEF INFO: STAR+CROSSED – a new musical
Book & Lyrics by Marcel Meyer
Music by Wessel Odendaal
Starring Earl Gregory and Isabella Jane
Direction & Set Design: Fred Abrahamse
Lighting Design: Faheem Bardien
AV Design: Kirsti Cumming
Costume Design: Marcel Meyer
Artscape Arena, Cape Town: 9 – 31 December 2022
Tickets: R200 – R250.
Booking at Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat