“Now, I’ve had the time of my life”

Last night I went with my girlfriends to watch Dirty Dancing the musical at Montecasino and what a fun night it was. It is the classic movie brought to life on stage with all the favourite scenes and lines like “Nobody puts Baby in the corner”. I must say the water lift scene was extremely corny and although I settled into the UK lead man, Gareth Bailey playing Johnny, towards the end (when it felt that he also relaxed more and was more natural) I felt that the legacy that Patrick Swayze left as the unforgettable and misunderstood Johnny Castle was just too big. Our Johnny just did not have enough natural suave but he made up for it on other fronts. It was however extremely fun and everyone there enjoyed it as was evident by all the oe’s and ah’s and screaming when Johnny swayed those hips or flexed those impressive muscles. The poor men who got dragged there by the women in their lives. It didn’t seem that they enjoyed it as much…

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Johnny Clegg music concert

Last night I went with friends to see the Johnny Clegg concert at Montecasino and what a phenomenal show. He is a singer/songwriter who has performed for more than 30 years and the man can still sing and dance – maybe not kick as high as he used to in his youth but still impressive. He sang of his new stuff as well as hit songs such as Asimbonanga, Osijeza, Impi, Scatterings of Africa, African sky blue and Great heart from earlier albums which had people on their feet.  There was also an insert from the movie Jock of the bushveld which brought back bitter-sweet memories. His love of teaching is still apparent in tales told of touring, the meaning to songs, words, culture and dance. Some guest artists included traditional dancers and The Soweto Gospel Choir who had the most beautiful costumes. I tried to capture this on my phone but was some distance away.

It was interesting to see some people experience his music for the first time and watch their reactions and it was great to see how something like music can bring people together and breakdown stereotypes because you saw the most unlikely people show up, jump up and dance to the music which just proves again that you cannot judge a book by its cover. You cannot help but feel uplifted and loving after a great show which is why music and sport is said to have done more for transformation than politics. I had the same exhilarating feeling after watching one legged men do the high jump at the Paralympics.

I had an incredible time.

Montecasino

I went to Montecasino on Saturday night for a fun night out. Monte’s tagline is “Gauteng’s Premier Entertainment destination” and it is so true. There is something for everyone. The many restaurants cater for all different tastes, from Kai Thai, Gourmet Garage with some interesting burger combinations, Metropolis Lounge and Grill on the Square that serves a fabulous fillet with real mushroom sauce and Ciao Baby Cucina that offers great breakfast buffets to name but a few.

There are stunning movie theatres with the Il Grande if you want to watch a movie in absolute comfort, ten pin bowling, hot air balloon, bird garden, dinner/dance and two theatres of which the Teatro is probably South Africa’s best theatre, currently showing Phantom of the opera. It also has a casino in the complex and has an open air Piazza which sometimes hosts free open air concerts, especially over New Years or during product launches. I had a great time.

Montecasino bird garden

What fabulous fun! Had a great day at Montecasino. Planned to go to movies but nothing too exciting was showing so had a marvelous lunch at the Meat Company, which makes some of the best steak in town, and then went to the Bird garden which is just outside the complex. We were just in time for the Flight of fantasy show in the Tuscan amphitheatre where birds participate in a show and the bird trainers give some fun facts about them such as the owl is one of the least intelligent birds which begs the question of why an owl is considered wise. The show is about 35min long and when we arrived it was very hot and sunny but the weather changed and by the time the last bird came out there was thunder and lightning. A hail storm accompanied by vicious winds broke out and we were just too late to walk the 100m to the complex entrance and ended up being stuck at the bird garden where we had to seek shelter in the office with about 15 other people. We waited about 20min for the worst to pass and then thought it brave enough to walk with umbrellas in the rain. What we didn’t know was that there was a huge stream of icy cold water coming down the path and we were ankle deep in water – shoes and pants all wet. Our brave stupidity also sent all the others following us so everyone arrived very wet and with numb feet at the complex. It was however hilarious and very much fun because when last had you run in the rain. We didn’t get to see all of the bird garden which has beautiful pathways, gardens and other mammals and a frog and spider room. There is also a tea garden and hot air balloon that offers rides above Fourways. Monte offers lots of entertainment and is worth a visit.