Local and International Tour
"I went back to see Danielle Bitton- the understudy for Eva Peron. People were raving about her performance and I had to see her. She is a wow. I first encountered her singing in a band at Shimmy Beach Club and was bowled over by her voice, charisma - sheer presence over the din of the summer revelers. She's been singing since she was 10 and has more than paid her dues on the club circuit and cruise ships. She is used to playing crowds and I think that she has accessed that in her Eva performance. She conjured up the chorus girl who has become the celebrity; the darling of the crowds. She brings a tenderness and poignancy; sense of loneliness and yearning - to the power hungry Eva - deluded in her success and desperate for adoration - socially conscious in many ways (Eva fought for women to get the vote in Argentina) and ruthless in her pursuit of wealth and power - to the detriment of her so-called people. Danielle taps into those layers - deeply - from an acting point of view and vocally." - Robyn Cohen - The Cape Times
Danielle Bitton joined the Cast of Evita SA in 2017. As the Lead Alternate Eva Peron ( Evita) alongside a stellar cast with Emma Kingston as lead Eva, Jonathan Roxmouth as Che, Robert Finlaysian as Peron. The Musical was directed by Broadway's Hal Prince, Daniel Kutner, choreography by Larry Fuller and Kim Jordan . Produced by David Ian Inc and Pieter Toerin Productions. The Company started their international Tour in February - July 2018 to Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
in 2019 The Original Cast with a few new Additions ,Jessica Daeley as Lead Eva, Lucas Rush as Che, Robert Departed on a second Tour of 10 cities in China to ; Shanghai, Wuhan, Shijiazhuang, Xi'an, Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou
DON’T CRY FOR EVITA
Cape Times, 5 Jan 2018, Robyn Cohen
UNMISSABLE: This weekend is the last chance to see at Artscape, a revival of the original production in London’s West End (1978) and in New York on Broadway (1979).
ONE of the most-anticipated 2017/18 South African musical theatre productions, Evita, wraps up at Artscape on Sunday.
It has been produced by Pieter Toerien in partnership with UK theatre producer David Ian. The principals are Emma Kingston as Eva Perón, Robert Finlayson as Perón and Jonathan Roxmouth as Che Guevara.
If you haven’t seen it, you have the weekend to catch this beautifully staged revival of the original production in London’s West End (1978) and in New York on Broadway (1979).
The last full-scale Evita – with orchestra and all the big musical add-ons – was staged in South Africa in 1981/2. Since then we have seen bonsai-scaled back productions.
It was – is – a big deal for audiences in Cape Town to Joburg to see a lavish production with sumptuous costumes and sets.
Some of the creative players at the coalface when Evita was first staged in the late 70s in London and in New York assembled in Cape Town and re-created the original design, sets, costumes and choreography, working with an SA team of creatives.
When the curtain goes down on Sunday, that’s not the end of the Evita story. The production will tour abroad – including to Singapore (February 19 to March 19) and Tokyo (July 2-8). It will then land in Australia and will end up in London’s West End but will be re-cast.
In Sydney, the role of Eva Peron will be played by pop star, Tina Arena. Hal Prince, 89, who directed the original West End and Broadway production, is credited as director of this production.
He did not come out to South Africa, but his right-hand person, Dan Cutner, was in SA as his “proxy” and is credited as associate director.
Donning the directorial hat in SA as resident director is Anton Luitingh, who also performs in the show. Another notable key member of the revival is designer Timothy O’Brian – a veteran of the original Evita. The energetic and spry O’Brien, 78, was in Cape Town during rehearsals.
Larry Fuller, 79 – who is credited with the US choreography – was in town, as was American lighting designer Richard Winkler.
When Evita opens in Singapore, it will not be billed as “Evita from SA” but as “Evita, the original West End and Broadway production directed by Hal Prince”.
A shout-out to Pieter Toerien and his production company for being at the helm of the Evita revival. It’s very much a proudly South African theatre moment.
I loved watching Evita and I went a second time – to see Danielle Bitton play Eva Perón. Bitton has been the understudy for the Evita SA tour. I’d heard she delivered a sterling performance.
The alternate Eva is LJ Nielson, who has also been receiving raves. While I enjoyed Kingston’s performance (nuanced characterisation and close resemblance to Eva Perón), I felt that she strained vocally at times. Vocally, the role is extremely challenging.
I went specifically to watch Bitton last Thursday and I was wowed. I first saw her performing at Shimmy Beach Club a few years ago. It was summer; crowded, noisy There was Bitton with this soulful voice and electric personality, transcending the clank of mobile phones and chatter.
I went up to her when the band was between breaks and asked her name.
Watching Bitton in Evita last week I was thrilled. She has nailed it: voice ..yes, it is not an easy role), acting, emotion.
Interesting to note Bitton has not gone through a tertiary education musical theatre route. She has done the club and cruise ship circuit and honed her skills along the way. Clearly, she impressed the Evita team during the run and was given the nod to get her own slots. Much deserved. A knockout performance.
In many ways, 2017/2018 has been the year of the understudy. Another artist who bowled me over is Edith Plaatjies as Joyce – The Shebeen Queen – in King Kong, The Musical which is on at The Fugard until February 18.
Last year during the first King Kong season in Cape Town and Joburg, Plaatjies understudied Joyce – the role played by the legendary Miriam Makeba in the original King Kong (first staged in 1959 in Johannesburg and for two years in London). As with Bitton, Plaatjies did not go through formal musical theatre training. She was a backing singer.
Camillo Lombard, Alistair Izobell and David Kramer reckoned she was much more than a backing singer and began to cast her in musicals. From paying her dues in ensembles, she has now very much made her mark in the iconic King Kong. She brings Joyce to life with poignancy and verve – a stunning performance.
Bravo to producers such as Pieter Toerien, Eric Abraham, Hazel Feldman, David and Renaye Kramer and Alistair Izobell for their roles as star-makers – for providing the platform for artists in this country and to help them shine abroad. It would be great to see more musical producers and directors of colour in this country – and women. Just saying.
Princess Cruise Lines
In March 2019 Danielle Embarked on a 5 day Cruise From Durban to Cape Town Performing as a Guest Entertainer on Princess Cruise lines on the Princess Pacific Ship Entertaining Passengers with her one woman Broadway Show.
DJ DANI B
IN HONG KONG JUNE 08
DJ DANI B Will Be flying to Hong Kong to Perform at the Prestigious YPO South East Asia Annual Dinner Gala at the Rosewood Hotel in Kowloon. Watch this space for more !
DJ Dani B is The True Disco Queen , Starting out in the club date circuit as a singer and travelling around the world performing in LA, NYC, ISRAEL, MOSCOW, GREECE, IBIZA, ITALY. Her love for music got her in to DJing a few years back. DJ DANI B is versatile in music genres, however she is all about melody, She says: "Tech-NO!!! DIS-GO !!!! and plays Deep, Groovy, Funky, Disco, Jackin and Melodic House Music. She incorporates that Live Element While Singing her favourite House Classics through out her set. DJ Dani B is a Natural Mood Director, You feel her Vibe Behind the Decks while she Gets Every Party Going!
Bookings Contact: HDS Entertainment
"CALLING US HOME" MUSICAL
A story of hope. A story of love. A story of home.
Danielle Bitton, Guest Entertainer, Norwegian Cruise Lines
STARDUST THEATRE PRESENTS: DANIELLE BITTON
"After all of Danielle’s performances she received standing ovations and very positive comments from the guests. I know, because I listened as people were leaving. I think it is that Danielle is different traveling any other Guest Entertainer that has been on the Sun ever,"
"Danielle is one of, if not, the most entertaining Guest Entertainers I have seen out on the Sun. Not that others haven’t been talented or entertaining, but Danielle is the whole package. She has fun and wants the audience to have fun. She is not just singing at or to them, she wants them to get into it with her. She doesn’t just stand there and “park and bark” She dances and moves and enjoys what she is doing. Her performance is not this crystal clean polished sterile set, if that makes sense. What I mean is you can tell she isn’t just going through the motions because that is what she has done 500 times before. It is more of a concert not just a show. LIVE THEATER!!!!"
- Heather Crites , Entertainment Production Manager