Jonathan Roxmouth has so many Fleur du Cap and Naledi Theatre Awards under his belt, it’s a wonder his trousers stay up. A staple of the local musical-theatre scene, he’s not just prolific, he’s proficient; a consummate performer who brings a combination of class and carefully honed talent to each stage he sets foot upon. Fresh from an international tour of Evita, Roxmouth will appear at Montecasino’s Teatro this August for a limited run of Jonathan Roxmouth – The Musicals in Concert, presented by Pieter Toerien. The show, first staged at this theatre to critical acclaim in 2017, features Roxmouth performing all your favourite Broadway hits, backed by a 55-piece orchestra.
Roxmouth is that rarest of things – a South African musical-theatre performer who has enjoyed a steady upward career trajectory. Though he jokingly says his career began when he starred as the bespectacled, nappy-wearing financial advisor in Sanlam’s series of quirky baby ads in the ’80s, it was as a teenager that his love for the theatre really took root. Despite never undergoing any formal training as an actor, Roxmouth began performing at the Natal Playhouse while he was still at Northcliff High School, appearing in supporting roles in productions of Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma! and The Pirates of Penzance, among others. He took up his first professional role in 2006, playing Vince Fontaine in The Barnyard Theatre’s production of Grease. This was followed by starring roles in The Buddy Holly Story, The King and I and Rock Me, Amadeus, also at that theatre.
It was during this time that he met local entertainment heavyweight and director Ian von Memerty, whose two-man piano show A Handful of Keys has been seen by more than 400 000 people since its first performance in 1994. Roxmouth, an accomplished pianist, toured with A Handful of Keys in 2008, earning his first Fleur du Cap nomination (for Best Performance in a Revue or Cabaret) along the way. Since then, the spotlight has rarely been off him. His résumé now includes leading roles in large-scale productions including The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and, most recently, Evita.
Broadway lovers will want to get their tickets for Jonathan Roxmouth – The Musicals in Concert as soon as possible, as this leading man takes the stage for only four performances before leaving to tour internationally as Billy Flynn in Chicago. The show offers audiences an evening of Broadway favourites, including songs from The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Cats, Aladdin, A Chorus Line, Joseph, The Sound of Music and more.
‘Everyone has their favourite musical number, but they have to wait for it during the course of the show,’ says Roxmouth. ‘The Musicals in Concert is an evening full of those songs, without the waiting, and performed as you’ve never heard them before with an extraordinary orchestra.’