La Passione – Fiat Beautiful Journey

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Fiat Group Automobiles SA to unveil 500 with a musical tribute at the Teatro

In 1957, through sheer engineering purity and ingenuity, the original Fiat 500, a little metallic sliver of Italy and a mere bubble of a car, puttered its way into the heart of a nation. In 2007 the reinvented Cinquecento did the same, conquering the rest of Europe in the process. And now in 2008, this modern classic is poised to claim the collective heart of the rainbow nation.

To celebrate this iconic rebirth, Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa will welcome Italy’s everyday masterpiece in outrageous style.

To mark the historic ocassion, on the evening of the 7th June 2008, the play, La Passione, will be staged at the Teatro at Monte Casino.

This is the very first time that a Corporate has had the privilege of hosting a bespoke production in this facility, which boasts the largest auditorium (1800 seats) in the southern hemisphere. Intriguingly this will also be the last time that a non-theatrical company will have the opportunity to do so before 2011, as the Teatro’s calendar is booked solid for the next two years.

Featuring a gobsmackingly stellar cast of SA’s thespian who’s who, this once-off theatrical spectacular will more than do justice to the vehicular marvel that motorised post-war Italy. Under the skillful guidance of award-wining Creative Director, Jaci de Villiers; Executive Producer, Jocelyn Broderick; and Musical Director, Wikus du Toit; the 18-strong cast will take patrons on an hour-long musical journey which starts in the 50s and winds its way through the decades into the future.

Weaved into this lyrical revue is a true love story; a passionate tale of how one little Italian touched the lives of millions.

Further punctuating the performance are speciality acts such as the strength and rope sequences, plus dazzling footwork courtesy of master choreographer, Sean Bovim. In the words of Jaci de Villiers, “this is worlds away from the hackneyed step-and-touch school of dance. One sequence in particular; Sean calls it the table duet, in which a couple stomp and romp their way around the stage using the table as a prop, is simply breathtaking.”

Jocelyn Broderick, herself an accomplished actor, is ecstatic about the cast that they have been able to assemble: “To have lead performers of the calibre of Craig Urbani (Chicago and Thoroughly Modern Millie), Ilse Klink (Isidingo and Chicago), Aubrey Poo (Scandal and Soweto Story) and Taryn Sudding (Snitch and Annie) all doing their thing on one stage – and at such short notice – is nothing short of miraculous.

The same goes for the supporting artists – Jo Gallaway (Hairspray and African Footprint), Earl Gregory (Hairspray and Joseph), Cobus Gomes (Saturday Night Fever) and Tanya Stricker (Chicago) – these are all major talents and we’ve got them in our show.”

The question is: where will you be when the most iconic car of the decade is unveiled? For a lucky 1800 guests, they’ll be at the Teatro on Saturday 7th June at 8.30pm. (If you’re a Fiat 500 fan you might still be lucky enough to get a ticket for the show from your nearest Fiat dealer.)

And what of the rest who would also like to salute the arrival of Cinquencento? Fiat Group Automobiles SA has made provision for members of the general public who would like to view the performance of La Passione to do so on a big screen in the Ballroom at Monte Casino – admission is free; first come first served.

But, that’s not all. The Ballroom will also be the venue for a global MTV/Fiat 500 Street Party event which will take place on the same night.

Not only will budding performers be given the opportunity to strut their stuff on stage (with the possibility of having it flighted on MTV), but the premier music channel in conjunction with Fiat Group Automobiles SA will also be showcasing two of South Africa’s top bands. Watch this space for exact details of the line-up.