If there is one way to combat the winter blues this weekend, it's warming up your spirit with live entertainment.
On the big screen the new film releases this week are all about love - and nothing warms the cockles of the heart more than a fine romance. Based on Nicholas Sparks' best seller, The Lucky One tells of US Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) who returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive-a photograph he found of a woman he doesn't even know. Discovering that her name is Beth (Taylor Schilling) and where she lives, he shows up at her door and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. If you are looking for a run-of-the-mill romance in which a hunky marine woos a homely single mom, The Lucky One is for you.
In The Rum Diary Johnny Depp evokes the memory of Hunter S Thompson, best known as the godfather of Gonzo Journalism, who wrote books like Hell's Angels, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail '72, Fear And Loathing In America, and The Rum Diary and who died in 2005. The memory of Thompson is vividly brought to life by Depp and tells the increasingly unhinged story of an itinerant journalist who adopts the rum-soaked life of Puerto Rico and becomes obsessed with the wildly attractive Connecticut-born fiancée of a businessman. If it's weird you are looking for, then this is it. A visual effects extravaganza
The love-hate relationship between Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are further exploited in Men In Black III. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men In Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. If you like over-the-top antics, bizarre alien creatures, a visual effects extravaganza and a plethora of funny one-liners, this is it.
For hopeless romantics looking for a full-blooded love story to watch in the embrace of a loved one, settle for The Vow or Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau is pleased to announce a new addition to the National Theatre Live season, She Stoops to Conquer, which will be screened exclusively 26, 27, 30 and 31 May. This delightful period comedy straight out of London was written by Oliver Goldsmith and directed by Jamie Lloyd, and was first staged in 1773 - 240 years later it still manages to create a stir amongst audiences. The scene is set in the country house of the Hardcastle family. Mr Hardcastle (Steve Pemberton from the award-winning The League Of Gentlemen), envisions his daughter and his best friend's son getting married. However, his plans are thwarted when Tony Lumpkin (David Fynn) plays a prank on Marlow (John Hefferman), the prospective son-in-law. This causes Marlow to enter the Hardcastle house, mistaking it for a country inn. Mr Hardcastle is mistaken for the innkeeper and his daughter Kate (Katherine Kelly from Coronation Street) for the barmaid. If you haven't had the opportunity to see live theatre at its best on the big screen, don't miss this opportunity. Drama on stage in Cape Town
There's a lot of drama happening on stage in Cape Town: you must see Wessel Pretorius in his last performance of Ont at the Woordfees at the Baxter, about the journey towards adulthood, a study in the relationship of family members as well as a celebration of the joys of freedom and flight. You can also see Sandra Prinsloo and Antoinette Louw in the adaptation of Marsha Norman's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Night, Mother, translated as Nag, Ma, a heart-wrenching play about the blood knot that binds and sometimes suffocates us. At Artscape you can indulge in the total bliss of Grieta Kry Geleertheid, a magnificent adaptation of Educating Rita. And at UCT's Intimate Theatre you can see Rebecca Makin-Taylor in Expectant, a young woman's conflicted duologue as both performer and character trying to make sense of herself as she realises her short life amounts to little more than a series of unrealistic expectations and disappointments. You can also venture to the Kalk Bay Theatre and see Sie Weiss Alles, a very twisted love story about two people who are trapped in circumstances beyond their control.
In Joburg, you can experience the sensational spectacle of Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline, a brand new, turbocharged show featuring some of the most extreme acts in the world, featuring a jaw-dropping visual feast of the most dangerous, entertaining and thrilling cirque acts combined with physical comedy routines and feats of skill and agility. You can also see Kwela Bafana+ ,an engaging musical story, which brings to life the unforgettable sights and sounds of South Africa during a decade known for producing a distinctive flavour in song and dance, and have fun with the one and only Sonia Esguera in So You Think You Can Love?, a brilliant and hilarious new comedy on love, dating and the finer nuances of being a stalker.Treat on the East Coast
Durbanites and East Coasters are in for a treat with Viva! Thailand's sensational super-voice band, where pop meets opera. This not-to-be-missed super-group will be performing an entertainment feast for the soul, which will include their exciting classical crossover music and is now on in Durban before going to Joburg, Port Elizabeth and East London.
If you want to spend the weekend at home with the family and loved ones, there are some great new releases on the home entertainment front. Ster-Kinekor entertainment releases some great independent films that are only available on DVD in South Africa and offers exclusive viewing. Canadian actor Reece Thompson is the star in two great romances this week: Daydream Nation, about a high school girl who has to choose between a sexy teacher and a ordinary classmate, and Ceremony, a wonderful romantic comedy about love, relationship and friendship. From Nu Metro there's the must-see Tintin and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and The Disney Family Collection features 25 live-action titles from the studio - available for the first time in stunning new packaging, at special retail prices, as well as Geek Charming, an absolute charming and delightful film for the whole family. It's more than a teen romance, it's about finding yourself and making the most of who you are with Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) and Matt Prokop (High School Musical Senior Year) perfectly cast in the coming-of-age tale that explores the dynamics of high school popularity and its social hierarchy.
For more shows, films and DVD news to turn tour weekend upside down, go to www.writingstudio.co.za