Bassline, Newtown, Johannesburg, December 18, 6pm. Chimurenga music originator Thomas Mapfumo returns to the Bassline, having delivered a triumphant show in September. He will be supported by DJ E-Man and DJ Pliez. In the Mapfumo biography Lion Songs, Banning Eyre provides what is probably still the best description of Mapfumo’s musical career: “Like Fela Kuti and Bob Marley, singer, composer and bandleader Thomas Mapfumo and his music came to represent his native country’s anti-colonial struggle and cultural identity. Mapfumo was born in 1945 in a colonised Zimbabwe (then known as Rhodesia). The trajectory of his career — from early performances of rock’n’roll tunes to later creating a new genre based on traditional Zimbabwean music, including the sacred mbira, and African and Western pop — is a metaphor for Zimbabwe’s evolution from colony to independent nation.” Tickets are R150 at Computicket, R200 at the door.
Straight No Chaser, 79 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town, December 18, 8.30pm and 9.45pm. Funk-jazz bassist George Anderson (from Shakatak) plays music from his solo recordings and his other musical projects with Amy Campbell on vocals, Bjorn Petersen on drums, Ian Smith on trumpet, Yvan Potts on keyboards and Zeke Le Grange on sax. Tickets are R100 for one set and R160 for two.
The Orbit, 81 De Korte St, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, December 18, 8.30pm: Ayanda Sikade Trio featuring special guests. Tickets are R200. December 19, 8.30pm: Louis Mhlanga Quartet featuring McCoy Mrubata. Tickets are R150.
Afrikan Freedom Station, Westdene, Johannesburg, December 18 to 20, 8pm. Guitarist and vocalist Sibusile Xaba plays three shows. Tickets are R80.
Jazzy Rainbow, 93 Smiso Nkwa-nyana Road, Durban, December 18, 7pm. Norweigian Sextet Zulu, led by trumpeter Ndabo Zulu. Tickets are R100. December 19, 8pm: Afro-soul singer Thabisa. Tickets are R60.December 20, 7pm: Saxophonist Mxolisi Mdlalose. Tickets are R60. December 22, 7pm: Bass player Duane Nichols and friends. Tickets are R80.
Zone 6 Venue, Blackchain Shopping Centre, Chris Hani Road, Soweto, December 20, 7pm. Tsala Jazz and Lifestyle event features a line-up of music mavens showcasing their collections. Entrance is free, R50 per cooler.
Dancehall Reggae Mzansi Awards 2015, Soweto Theatre, corner pf Bolani Link and Bolani roads, Jabulani, Soweto, December 19, 7pm. The third annual award show will hand out gongs in 11 categories. Tickets are R130 to R150.
The Assembly, Harrington Street, District Six, Cape Town, December 18. Puma Happy Holiday presents Shortstraw and Al Bairre; also featuring Grassy Park and Not Bad DJs. Tickets are R80 at Webtickets.
Night of the Poets, State Theatre, Pretoria, December 18, 7pm. As part of the Mzansi Fela Festival, this event brings together poetry and Afrosoul. The entertainment line-up includes Kgafela oa Magogodi, Napo Masheane, Lucas Serei, Xabiso Vili, Given Masilela, Kgothatso Ngako and Thabiso Ngwenya. Singer Nathi will bring an Afrosoul sound to the event. Tickets cost R150 to R250, from Computicket. statetheatre.co.za
New Voices IV, Lizamore & Associates, Chester Court, 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Johannesburg. Emerging artists curated by emerging curators.
Two Social Pacifiers, David Krut Projects, 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Johannesburg, until December 19. An exhibition of prints and paintings by Erthiopian artist Endale Desalegn.
A Geometry of Echoes, Goodman Gallery, Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Road, Cape Town, until January 15. Gerhard Max presents drawings inspired by calligraphy and cartography.
Ebb and Flow, Imbizo Gallery, Lifestyle Centre, Ballito, until December 31. Solo exhibition by Bron Stofberg.
Reflection and Transformation, Walker Bay Modern Art Gallery, 167 Main Road, Hermanus, until January 17. A solo sculpture exhibition by Louis Chanu.
Buzzart 15, KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts, 166 Bulwer Road, Durban, until January 17. A selection of collectable art from Arts for Humanity with work available in a silent auction. Artists include Sue Williamson, Diane Victor, Mduduzi Xakaza and Joseph Madisa.
Bright Night Project, ROOM Gallery & Projects, 23 Voorhout Street, Johannesburg, until December 31. Featuring graphic and photographic works by Maaike Bakker, Mzwandile Buthelezi, Rohan Etsebeth, Rikus Ferreira, Jono Garrett, Jana Hamman, Hanro Havenga, Louis Minnaar, Karabo Poppy Moletsane, ?Kristin-Lee Moolman, Sindiso Nyoni, Travys Owen, Warren van Rensburg and others.
“Tell Them!” Comedy Tour, Soweto Theatre, Jo’burg, December 18, 7.30pm. Some of South Africa’s talented comedians will share a stage at this show that promises to leave audiences “laughing themselves silly”. Comedians Eugene Khoza, Thapelo “Tips” Seemise, Simmi Areff and Lazola Gola will hit the road together for the first time as part of the tour. Tickets are R130 to R150 from Computicket. sowetotheatre.com
Swan Lake on Ice, Teatro at Montecasino, Jo’burg, until January 10. The Imperial Ice Stars are back with a classic, Swan Lake, featuring new effects, costumes and choreography from artistic director Tony Mercer. The production was known for its contemporary ice dance, now partnered with “skating manoevures”. The cast of Imperial Ice Stars has performed for audiences in 15 countries around the world. Tickets are R100 to R400 from Computicket. montecasino.co.za
Adagio for a Hacked Life, Baxter Theatre, Cape Town, December 25 to February 27. Baxter Theatre Centre and Scenkonst Sörmland (Sweden) have partnered up to bring the third and last production in the trilogy, Growth, which includes I Hit the Ground Running (2013) and Struck Silent (2014). Adagio for a Hacked Life focuses on the “stress that comes with technology-driven and information-overloaded culture”. Tickets cost R100. baxter.co.za
Winnie the Pooh, Artscape Theatre, Cape Town, until December 23, 10.30am. The much-loved characters from Winnie the Pooh come to the stage in a production about friendship. This children’s theatre piece is interactive and engaging. The production was adapted by Glyn Robbins, directed by Cheryl Abromowitz and features music by Anton Luitingh. Tickets cost R70. artscape.co.za
Orpheus in Africa, The Fugard Theatre, Cape Town, 4pm, 8pm. This musical by playwright and director David Kramer tells the story of American impresario Orpheus McAdoo and his African-American Virginia Jubilee Singers, who visited South Africa in the 1890s. In Scotland, Orpheus had met Lady Loch, the wife of the British governor of the Cape, who invited them to Cape Town. Orpheus is played by tenor Aubrey Poo, who has appeared in musicals such as Marikana: The Musical and Ketekang. Orpheus’s fiancée, Mattie Allen, is played by Lynelle Kenned, who appeared in the stage productions Blood Brothers and Showboat. Tickets cost R110 to R220 from Computicket.thefugard.com
Bad Jews, The Fugard Theatre, Cape Town, until December 31. This West End smash hit is about of remembrance and legacy, a story told through a group of young people. The play is directed by Greg Karvellas, stars Lara Lipschitz (Cabaret, Jersey Boys) as Daphna, a devout Jew, who is unbending and religiously opinionated, Glen Biderman-Pam, Oliver Booth and Ashley de Lange. Tickets are R130 to R150. thefugard.com
Songs from Jazz Town, Market Theatre, Newtown, Johannesburg. The Market Theatre’s artistic director, James Ngcobo, celebrates musical legends with a production that zooms in on the evolution of popular music from the 1950s onwards. The show features music from legends Miriam Makeba, Victor Ntoni, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbuli, Dolly Rathebe, and many more. Tickets are R90 to R190. markettheatre.co.za
A Christmas Celebration, The Playhouse, Durban, December 19 to 24, 7:30. This Christmas show features more than 150 performers live on stage and promises to get audiences in the festive season mood with a Christmas music selection and dance performance. Performers include Judith Sephuma, Bongani Tembe, Andile KaMajola, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and many more. Directed by Ralph Lawson, choreographed by Sean Bovim and compèred by Damon Beard of East Coast Radio. Tickets are R120 to R150. playhousecompany.com
The Bioscope Christmas Marathon, The Bioscope Cinema, 286 Fox Street, Johannesburg. December 19, 1pm to 10pm. The annual Bioscope Christmas Marathon returns with a day of watching nothing but the Lord of the Rings trilogy back to back. Your R50 marathon ticket includes one drink to the value of R25. On Sunday December 20, 7pm, the Bioscope has a Classic Movie Sundays Christmas Special, a screening of John Hughes’s 1990 classic comedy Home Alone, about an eight-year-old boy who must protect his home from a pair of burglars after he is accidentally left alone at home by his family during the Christmas holidays. Tickets are R20, and all Film Society card-holders get in for free. thebioscope.co.za