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Summary Profile

The term DIVA has been bandied about a little too liberally recently, with the title being awarded to singers whose only claim to it, is to be female. But what exactly is a diva? Tonya Koenderman, one of South Africa’s hottest cabaret artistes sums them up to a “T”, as it were. “They are slightly eccentric, slightly over the top and ever so slightly melodramatic”.

Tonya Koenderman is one of the few performers who is able to recapture the power and sheer drama of the great belters. And this is no more evident than in her latest offering “DIVAS TO A ‘T’. A reworked version of her first hit of the same name, this show is sassier, sexier and with even more of the diva pizzazz. And with her long-time friend Lisa Bobbert on board as director, it is pleasing on both the eye and the ear.

The show promises to be a musical feast packed with serial thrillers and gorgeous, slightly revealing costumes. All your favourites are featured; Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Gloria Gaynor, Tina Turner, Miriam Makeba, Jikele Mawene, Pata Pata, Vicky Sampson, Mango Groove, and many more!

In true diva style, Tonya adds her own saucy touch to classics like “Big Spender”, “Diamonds are Forever”, “New York New York”, “I Will Survive”, “Proud Mary” and “Summertime”.

The show has already performed to sold-out houses in Durban and the Grahamstown festival and has been hailed as Tonya’s best yet.

MASTER OF CEREMONIES : Tonya is also an accomplished host. She can add a bit of theatrical fun, by performing them as a themed "character".

Rave Reviews

DIVAS, Eauver The Top : Tonya Koenderman’s slim, svelte frame belies the diva-like magnitude of her voice, which soars and subsides with enviable control as the vivacious young Johannesburg songstress tackles serial thrillers by anyone from Minelli to Madonna. Not even a troublesome mike on opening night could detract from the verve with which Koenderman delivered a well-chosen set of sonic delights, which included a spine-tingling “When a Man Loves a Woman”, an infectiously tropical “Calypso Blues” and a superb Minelli medley. It takes some doing to rouse Capetonians to their feet on a Tuesday. Koenderman managed it effortlessly, which speaks volumes for her poise, professionalism and panache.

….there is nothing small about Tonya’s voice or her performance. She pays tribute in song to many of the greats – Streisand, Makeba, Dion, Bassey and others with numbers romantic and rousing, both familiar and not-so-well known, climaxing with the inevitable “Cabaret” and the rousing “New York New York”. She laces her songs with interesting and amusing anecdotes about the stars…which had the appreciative audience in stitches. …I’ve seen Tonya several times over the past six or seven years, but have seldom seen her reach the heights she did here on opening night……I’ll be happy if most of the shows I’m due to see are half as good as this one.

Tonya Koenderman


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