SHOW: The Way We Were
CAST: Cat Simoni
Venue: The Rosebank Theatre until April 12
REVIEW: Melissa Cohen
It was like a trip down memory lane for some and then for others like me, it was more like journey down a road less travelled. ‘The Way We Were’ is a captivating musical journey through the life and times of legendary musician Barbara Streisand.
With no more than a piano and a few props here and there, singer and entertainer Cat Simoni transforms the tiny venue of the Rosebank Theatre into her lounge as she takes the audience through a hilarious and at times heartfelt trip down Streisand’s road to success.
“Who remembers 1973?” Simoni asks the audience before transforming into the legendary singer. Although it became clear at that moment that many audience members were tracing their own journey back to 1973, I couldn’t relate, since I was only born some 20 odd years later. Nevertheless, I didn’t feel as if I was being left in the dark. That is because Simoni introduces Streisand in a very accessible way. Even if you aren’t overly familiar with the singer’s extensive catalogue, you won’t feel left out.
Simoni uses very specific props that encapsulate the Bronx born songstress’s over the top personality. From different hats to fur coats, Simoni uses these props as her key to unlocking her inner Barbara Streisand – and damn she does a great job. She even incorporates the singer’s crunched up facial expressions and strong Brooklyn accent, making her portrayal of Streisand just that little bit more real. The combination of the way she caresses the keys to her barely believable vocal progressions absolutely sells one on her version of Barbs.
It also helps that Simoni is such a funny broad. At times I found myself giggling like a teenager at her corny jokes. In fact, the sheepish smile that was plastered on my face soon after the show began never left my mug for the duration of the show.
Even though I was definitely the youngest audience member by a good forty years, I walked out of the theatre with my horizons broadened and a newfound love for a musical legend I never used to pay attention to. I call that a good night’s entertainment.
* Book at www.webtickets.co.za.