AMERICAN SWEETHEARTS - A Star is Born & Eva Cassidy

14th Jul 2024 - 14th Jul 2024


A Star Is Born" features Luke Holder on piano, while "The Story Of Eva Cassidy" has Rob Thompson (guitar) and Kristo Zondagh (drums, vocals) accompanying Kerry Hiles (bass, vocals).
About The Show


50 Margaret Mayton Ave, Durban North

 In Association with The Rhumbelow Theatre


Music/Theatre Festival - Line-up



Rob Thompson, Kristo Zondagh & Kerry Hiles

SUNDAY 14 JULY 2024  Show starts 18.30
(Venue opens 90 minutes before show for snacks/drinks)


Wela Kapela Productions is becoming rather renowned for its award-winning and highly acclaimed productions and on Sun 14 July 2024, TWO of these shows will be appearing at the Rhumbelow Theatre at Northlands Bowling Club.

"A Star Is Born: The Rise & Fall of Judy Garland" makes up Act One and Act Two comprises of "The Story Of Eva Cassidy".

Kerry Hiles received a Fleur Du Cap 2024 nomination for Best Actress for her role as the narrator/Judy in "A Star Is Born", and both productions have walked away with prestigious Ovation Awards at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda/Grahamstown in 2019, 2020, and 2022.

Join us for an evening of exceptional entertainment at Rhumbelow Northlands!

A Star Is Born" features Luke Holder on piano, while "The Story Of Eva Cassidy" has Rob Thompson (guitar) and Kristo Zondagh (drums, vocals) accompanying Kerry Hiles (bass, vocals).

A Star Is Born:

Judy Garland took to the stage at age 2, landed a movie contract at 12, won an Academy Award at 17, and impacted the music and movie industry for generations to come. She died aged 47. How did one of Hollywood's brightest stars dim so fast?

Kerry Hiles tells the life story of Garland, using songs from Judy's movies to accentuate the tale. Accompanied by Luke Holder on piano, this 70-min cabaret has played to several sold-out evenings countrywide and won an Ovation Award at the 2019 National Arts Festival in Makhanda (previously Grahamstown) and the VFringe in 2020. The production enjoyed a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 in Scotland, where it received glowing reviews. Kerry Hiles was nominated for a Fleur Du Cap 2024 Best Actress award for her work as the narrator/Judy.

This entertaining and sophisticated cabaret was written and directed by Amanda Bothma, and features well-loved classics like "That's Entertainment", "I Got Rhythm" and (obviously!) "Over The Rainbow". In addition, the performance also showcases some of Garland's iconic numbers such as "The Trolley Song" and "The Man That Got Away", as well as some lesser-known surprise numbers that have delighted audiences: look out for "Hoe Down" and "If You Feel Like Singing, Sing", among others.

Reviews have read:

"An engaging performance by a very talented singer and storyteller. Judy Garland's tragic life story was told with passion and grace in an intimate setting.” – TVO, audience review

"Exceptional performance. A true story well told and beautifully sung. Highly recommended.” - Joy Roach, audience review

“Kerry Hiles does not try to impersonate Garland in mode or manner, but presents her own cool, classy cabaret with pizzazz and passion, interweaving the songs, stories, humour and heartache of Judy’s life on and off stage. Yes, this is Entertainment with a capital E.” - Vivien Devlin, edinburghguide

“With a smile that lights up the room and a gorgeous singing voice, she (Kerry Hiles) had the audience in the palm of her hand throughout her impressive performance.” - Keith Millar, theatre reviewer.

“I found A Star Is Born – The Rise and Fall of Judy Garland fascinating and the singing superb…hostess Kerry Hiles…narrating an expertly abridged version of Garland’s life... It felt high class and approachable together." - Andrew Girdwood,

I loved every bit of the show. Kerry was an amazing performer, and her voice just sent me to a dreamy era of sweet and sour time as she took us through the journey of becoming Judy Garland. I was in tears at the end! - Samir El Mouti (audience member, Edinburgh)

A beautiful and heart-wrenching performance that will make you feel like you understand Garland in all her complex humanity. Kerry Hiles is an incredible performer …A real must-see! - Andrea Thorpe (audience member, Edinburgh)

Kerry says at the start that she hopes to make us fall in love a little with Judy Garland - and she does. This is a beautiful narration of Garland’s turbulent life, seasoned with superb singing of some of her songs, which will make you feel both the ache and the talent she held within her. - Mark Oakley (audience member, Edinburgh)

Fantastic hour of song, dance and narration from Kerry Hiles. A very engaging and highly professional performance delivered sensitively, you won’t be disappointed. - Nick Laws (audience member, Edinburgh)

A really enjoyable hour listening to a fascinating narrative of a somewhat forgotten star who had a really interesting life beautifully told and interspersed with wonderful songs, sung with real pleasure. This is a beautiful little show. - Julian Embleton (audience member, Edinburgh)

Beautiful renditions of Judy Garland’s songs. Coupled with some tales of her turbulent life, this is a wonderful gem of a show. - Agnes Joyce Wells (audience member, Edinburgh)

The Story Of Eva Cassidy:

She never wrote her own music. She never sang her own songs.

Her most important album was self-financed; her breakthrough music video was shot on a handheld camera; her largest audience was a handful of people.

She died at the age of 33. 

Then she rose to #1 and sold over 10 million albums.

"The Story of Eva Cassidy" is at once beautiful and tragic; the stuff legends are made of. With "Fields Of Gold", "Over The Rainbow" and "Fever", as well as familiar jazz, gospel and blues numbers, this one-hour tribute show will have you laughing, crying, and celebrating a singer who was discovered too late.

Guitarist Rob Thompson and drummer Kristo Zondagh complete the live trio alongside Kerry Hiles on bass and vocals to bring the music and magic of Eva Cassidy to life in this award-winning production, written and directed by Amanda Bothma.

"Do not miss this beautiful and stirring, exquisitely tender show... It is tagged as a cabaret but it is also a tribute; an unforgettable homage to the late American singer, Eva Cassidy" – CapeRobyn

"Easily one of the best female vocalists in this country right now, Kerry Hiles has the range as well as the clear love and intimate knowledge of the music to pay tribute to Cassidy " - Robyn Sassen

"I haven't stopped thinking or talking about "The Story Of Eva Cassidy". Ms Kerry Hiles, your voice heals and revives. I'm so glad to have been introduced to Eva Cassidy. I haven't been able to start my day without her music" - Sisanda, Hilton Arts Festival

Top Talent at the Rhumbelow Theatre.


R 180-00 a ticket

Northlands Bowling Club members R 160-00

Festival Season Pass R 480-00 (all 3 shows)

 email for Festival Season Pass

Bring food picnic baskets.

Limited secure parking available    

Booking is essential. 

FULL BAR AVAILABLE (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises)

Cell 0824998636          


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