FOR those actively involved in drama and other theatrical activities, there is always the urgency to learn from others each day; watching movies, plays and observe just how people behave is ironically a monitor for the theatre artist.
Once, a veteran theatre artist, playwright and director Light Musonda remarked; “The best training one can ever get in the theatre is through the routine of rehearsals. The more one attends and participates in rehearsals and performances, the more skilled such individuals become.”
I keenly agree with Musonda, and approve Godfrey Chitambala’s expressions about the movie Joyful Noise as a subtle fascinating production shared out in a number of attractive scenes to give a great guide to selected backdrops as good acting for those involved in stage plays.
A fortnight ago, I settled down to critically watch this 2012 movie and discovered its amusing drama, but simple and stimulating storyline.
There are variations we can all draw from it particularly for our young actors and playwrights.
It is valuably easier to draw themes from modest concepts that cut across the breadth of audiences without the fearful intrigue of dangerously stepping on one’s foot.
And social themes can generally be the best of focus.
Joyful Noise is a drama set in a small town in which the local choir is out to win a national competition despite overwhelming odds.
A story of faith and determination by the choir leaders (Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton) and the young talent who want to win God’s praise and beat the competition for the grand prize
The small town of Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition.
The choir has always known how to sing in harmony, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart.
Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery GG Sparrow (Dolly Parton) thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old.
Shaking things up even more is the arrival of GG’s defiant grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan).
Randy has a knack for music, but he also has an eye for Vi Rose’s beautiful and talented daughter, Olivia (Keke Palmer), and the sparks between the two teenagers are causing even more heat between GG and Vi Rose.
Written and directed by Todd Graff, the 118 minutes’ Joyful Noise is a high-rated comedy that suits the average ages with clearly distinct language and insights. This is the sort-of-drama not exactly trendsetting but a decent enough offering for those teenagers with a heart for their locality.
It’s a film about triumph, but only for people who can accept every joyous or fierce moment as triumphant, regardless of all odds.
Lessons from this drama are immense; the cast shows the good fortune of acting alongside with grace and lots of enthusiasm-a very appealing cast.
Have any of my readers and those theatre artists watched Joyful Noise? Do you further realise the choice of play as essential; an appealing cast is as important as it enables a production’s success?
Many times our plays fail miserably firstly because we miscast; roles fail to match with the ability of actors, even when they are superbly good players – they fail to uplift our plays due to misplaced roles!
Joyful Noise has lots of talented young singers who decorate the scenes, notably Jeremy Jordan who has vocal and acting chops that shine even when signs show low moods.
Additionally, to have two full-figured names the adorable Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah’s fierce when they need to be were incredible.
Latifah, a formidable actress who’s almost always better than her movies, easily dominates, but much more interesting is the sprightly rift with her daughter which is a very engaging set, an expository of emotions, spank, tribute and usurping energy.
The high pitted argument is a tense drama scene of emotion, precision and callous, a scene that draws the background of most of Zambian society today.
Queen Latifah radiates such effortless charisma that she elevates mundane scripts looking at other performances.
Young girls have taken to doing their own thing with seemingly no guidance, yet no single parent wants to see his or her child grow up on the wrong side.
It is this scenery that Chitambala feels is a lesson for local theatre; intense emotions, agitation and pageantry.
In another line, Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah sling at each other in the café with attributes of conflict that often heighten dramas.
Though one wishes Graff’s eye were as developed as his keen ear, he elicits rafter-raising musical performances from Latifah, Palmer, and Jordan that are irresistible fun.
The movie’s musical numbers are catchy in their bright sunshiny way, rather soulful – Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson’s numbers take on a religious note – Michael’s Man in the Mirror echoes decently leaving the movie so fundamentally caring such that no real unresolvable conflicts ever surface which is another one way of good drama in a society like Zambia where entertainment should be enforced.
I particularly enjoy the scene when Kris Kristofferson memorably comes back from the dead to sing a duet with Dolly. In the end, it’s impossible to resist the film’s exuberant high spirits which is the best mood in drama at the end.
In Zambia, with the many young good actors, nothing is impossible, we can achieve very good results; hence let’s support drama clubs in schools and the community.
Meanwhile, I am pursuing a story of Nkana-Kitwe Arts Society in Kitwe which has been refurbished by Mopani Copper Mines and is running an industrial theatre programme.
Subsequently, I will continue with my looking back at some of the theatre institutions and artists some past and past.