Joburg Theatre’s Hit Returns in the Same Year, with a new Shug Avery!
Popular actress and vocalist Lelo Ramasimong, who achieved a great personal success playing the role of Darlene in The Color Purple in February, will now step into the lead role of the troubled blues singer Shug Avery.
Lelo Ramasimong became a house-hold name in SA when she made it into the top 10 on Idols SA. Since then she has performed as a vocalist in major venues all over the country and was voted by Seventeen Magazine as the Top Young South African Artist. She also became a finalist in the Cosmopolitan Most Awesome Women of the Year.
Lelo’s theatre career has included award winning performances in Little Shop of Horrors, Dreamgirls, African Footprint, Under African Skies and Burn the Floor. She was the lead female vocalist in the popular television show Strictly Come Dancing and was one of the artists in the new television series Coke Studio, collaborating with well known producer 37MPH to create the hit single Shine.
Seventeen of the original twenty cast members signed to reprise their roles, including acclaimed Didintle Khunou as Celie and Aubrey Poo as Mister. Janice Honeyman, Bernard Jay and musical director Rowan Bakker then embarked on another round of auditions to find the three necessary replacement cast members.
Well known actress and vocalist Lelo Ramasimong, who initially played the role of Darlene in The Color Purple, will now be stepping into the leading role of Shug Avery. Lelo created her own fan base during The Color Purple’s first season with her spine-chilling vocalisation of the role of Darlene. Now her fans can’t wait to experience the gutsy, blues singing she will feature as Shug Avery.
After several audition sessions, the creative team identified the three highly talented people to join the cast: Masego Mothibakgomo, Terrence Ngwila and Lebo Borole.
Masego Mothibakgomo takes over the role of Darlene from Lelo Ramasimong. Masego obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Drama from the University of Pretoria. Her theatre work includes roles in Disney’s The Lion King, Romeo and Juliet, Alchemy of Desire/Dead man’s Blues directed by Ball State University’s Wendy Saver-Mortimer and Seussical. Masego is also embarking on a career as a singer/songwriter in the commercial music industry.
Terrence Ngwila will be playing the role of Grady. He is trained in American Latin, basic Tango, and Jazz-Ed but he describes himself mostly as a hip-hop and dub-step dancer. Terrence was also trained and awarded an introductory teaching certificate in Jazz-Ed by one of South Africa’s dancers on Broadway, Pinto Ferreira. He was part of the award winning South African ‘soapie’ Generations: the Legacy and worked with Paul Grootboom on The President’s Man. Terrence played the lead in the production 1606, which received an Ovation Award at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival in 2015. Other theatre roles include Marikana The Musical, Freedom and Sophiatown – all at The State Theatre in Pretoria.
Lebo Borole also joins the company. Lebo studied drama and performance at the National School of the Arts and continued her studies at the University of Witwatersrand, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree. She has worked as a radio personality at Trans World Radio and performed in an acapella music group called Blacklace. She toured Hong Kong in Disney’s The Lion King as Nala. Lebo was also cast as the lead in the musical Milked Voice and is currently featured in the new musical Tsotsi in Cape Town.
The Color Purple will re-open at The Mandela at Joburg Theatre on August 7th 2018 and will run until September 2nd. To book you can call 0861 670 670, go online at www.joburgtheatre.com or book in person at the Joburg Theatre box office. Theatre patrons can also book online and pay at selected Pick N Pay stores.