10 February 2022
A few years ago, entertainer Terry Fortune said he has retired and would only do the odd charity gig. Funny that. He has never been busier.
In a fortnight, on February 26, Terry will stage his latest initiative, Terry Fortune Presents Golden Oldies at the Baxter.
And “golden oldies” it is indeed. Everyone on stage has to be over 60.
“That was the one stipulation for the show that I will not back down on,” Terry said. “Everyone on the show has to be over 60; a genuine golden oldie. I’ve had artists approach me to be on the show and, sadly, I’ve had to knock them back.
“I know it has been hard on all artists, but, short of faking their birth certificates, they won’t be on it unless they are over 60.”
Terry has already lined up all the performers which include songbird Zelda Benjamin, Leslie Kleinsmith, Dezi Ray and Madeegha Anders.
“Zelda, at 84, is our oldest performer. Madeegha is our youngest at 61 and just makes the cut.
“We also have some veterans backing the artists, including Sammy Hartman on piano, Lionel Beukes on bass, Daryl Andrews on guitar and Denver Furness on drums. All are in their 70s.
Terry said the idea for the show came to him when he performed on the recent Camissa jazz cruise to Port Elizabeth.
“There was a lot of light-hearted banter among the artists when we took to the stage, much of it directed at me and reflecting on our longevity in the business. None of us was what you would call ‘new to the game’ and it hit me: I should put together something that acknowledges our experience.
“When the ship got back to Cape Town, I sat down and put together a proposal which I presented to the Baxter Theatre and another party. Both were eager to be involved and I immediately started contacting my ‘golden oldies’.
“People have been under various forms of social restraint due to Covid for the last two years. Many have suffered great personal loss. They have also been starved of live entertainment. This show is for them too.”
“The show will be presented in the garden and lawn area of the Baxter ground. The area that has been cordoned off to accommodate an outdoor performance.
“We are limiting the crowd to 500 to cater for inclement weather. If that happens, the show will be moved inside. We are pitching it has a picnic-on-the-lawn type of show.”
Terry admits that to all intents and purpose he has been “retired” these past few years except for the odd worthy charity. He also made a conscious decision never to wear his drag outfit on stage again.
But the work kept coming and he has so many projects floating in his head.
“One doesn’t simply put one’s feet up and go vacant upstairs,” he said.
His Faces of Fortune series on social media – which recounts incidents in his early career, some hilarious, other deadly serious – is a work in progress and there is every expectation that it will see the light of day as a hard-copy publication.
“And then there is the SuidOosterfees coming up,” he says. “But more about that later.
“For the moment let’s focus on the Golden Oldies. There is so much experience that will be on stage. The collective age of all the performers is around 1000 years. That’s solid gold and they will rock your socks off.”
Some of the other oldies who will perform on the day are Sylvia Mdunyelwa, Neesha Abrahams, Vernon Castle, Philip Swales (a baritone who sang with the Eoan Group and Capab), Erica Lundi, and DJ Stan.
For the record, Terry is a spritely 73 years young.
Ticketing has opened and it’s going like hot cakes. Get in early.
Photos: Natheer Waggie
Black Panda Media Productions