OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013 THE MUSICALS SPECIAL
WICKED the spell-binding musical STAGE STARS HEAD DOWN-UNDER FROM FIREMAN TO THE FLYING DUTCHMAN FILM GOES 4D WITH LIVE LIVE CINEMA LOOKING AHEAD TO 2014
LIVE SHORTS THE EDGE is responsible for performing arts and entertainment programming across Aotea Centre, The Civic, Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Square. As part of Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA), we are now also responsible for attracting non-sporting events to Mt Smart and Western Springs stadiums. This is why you’ll see stories and information about events like the Big Day Out at Western Springs and OUR:HOUSE FESTIVAL at Mt Smart Stadium in these pages.
LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013
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AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS 26 January 2014 | The Civic
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AUCKLAND DIWALI FESTIVAL 19 & 20 October | Aotea Square
Pizza at BOX BOX Cafe & Bar added pizza to the menu in August and so far they’ve been extremely popular.
THE LAUGHING SAMOANS: FOBULOUS 2 November | ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
29 November | Mt Smart Stadium
Director’s pick Robbie Macrae estimates that by the EDITOR Josie Campbell – firstname.lastname@example.org
end of the year he will have been to
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Auckland and further afield, covering
over 100 events in 2013, both here in every facet of the performing arts and entertainment. When it comes
DESIGNER Oliver Rosser
to December and the festive season, there’s one collection of events Robbie
THEATRE MARKETING MANAGER Angela Gourdie
is looking forward to sharing with Aucklanders.
COVER IMAGE Jemma Rix as Elphaba, WICKED Photo credit: Jeff Busby
such a busy time with projects to complete, shopping and everything
“Unwrapping Christmas is a very important event for us. Christmas is else that needs to be done, and I love that Aotea Square is transformed into a festive hub of fun and relaxation. “We’ll have Live at Lunch music back again, as well as food stalls,
UNWRAPPING CHRISTMAS 9 – 21 December | Aotea Square
Christmas markets and games and my favourite Bandstand Under the Stars. Unwrapping Christmas really makes the end of the year worth looking forward to.”
LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013
WICKED is casting its spell over local audiences who love the engrossing story and characters, the lavish costumes and sets, and the powerful music. Show lead Jemma Rix explains why it’s magical to perform, while composer Stephen Schwartz talks about conjuring up the music. By Dionne Christian.
performed as Elphaba, who morphs into the Wicked Witch of the West, hundreds of times.
Jemma says her favourite part is probably performing Defying Gravity because it’s a challenge to sing but also because she gets to fly above the stage. The song marks a pivotal turning point and from its title, with a hint of deviance, to its structure, it symbolises the journey Elphaba is on to become the legendary and feared Wicked Witch of the West.
ason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance, in a semiindustrial North Melbourne suburb, instantly evokes memories of the film and TV series Fame: dance rehearsal rooms with mirrored floor-to-ceiling walls, numerous kids in leotards and leg warmers, and parents sitting around guarding sports bags stuffed with assorted clothing, water bottles and dance shoes.
After a 10-month break – at least in this part of the world – WICKED is back on the road down-under and, as part of its 10th anniversary tour, the Auckland season just opened as part of a new Australasian tour. While some of the cast have returned, more than half are new including our own Jay Laga’aia, who plays the Wizard of Oz, and Steve Danielsen who portrays handsome prince Fiyero.
Youngsters come here to start their training and, perhaps on this particular sizzling Saturday morning, to be enchanted, too. For if they listened hard enough, they would have heard the soaring voices of the cast – many of them newly picked – from the Broadway musical WICKED.
It wasn’t too long ago that Jemma Rix was a wide-eyed new performer, like those who take classes at the Ministry of Dance, who underwent the rigorous WICKED audition process which involves around four vocal and dance tryouts. She joined the chorus before progressing to show lead and still gets a buzz from WICKED despite having
“When it’s a really good show, like this one is, the energy you need comes naturally because you love what you do and it’s an honour to be part of it. Another reason is because we all think of the audience who are seeing the show for the first time, arriving with all the anticipation and excitement; so we want to deliver all they’re hoping for.”
“It’s an amazing feeling and a truly magical moment when you get to live your dream! I hope no one can see me because I come off stage with a huge smile on my face and kind of do a fist pump as I come down.”
froM 17 SepteMBer • the cIvIc Book at buytickets.co.nz 0800 Buy tIcKet or ticketmaster.co.nz or 09 970 9700 When he wrote the music, composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz wanted it to complement the story fully but also to drive it forward, illuminate the characters’ respective
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LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013
feelings and to create an other-worldly atmosphere for audiences. He acknowledges that finding the story, and then putting music to it, was difficult at times. “I experimented with some things that really didn’t work like different kind of scales and some almost tortured harmonies but it got so far out that it was simply unlistenable.” Stephen, who wrote the score for the musicals Godspell and Pippin, together with writer Winnie Holzman, started to adapt Gregory Maguire’s morally complex novel into the musical in 1996. Stephen says as soon as he read the story, on a friend’s recommendation, he conceived of it as a musical.
“If something interests me, it’s because I hear music but there were several other reasons. We know Oz as a musical land so we associate it with music; I also felt that the characters, particularly the two leading characters of Elphaba and Glinda, are larger than life and their personalities lent themselves to songs.” He agrees the score is probably more unified than others he has written and says unusually he wrote the opening number, the sensational No One Mourns the Wicked, first; think of it as a much more sophisticated take on Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.
Talking from New York to LIVE on the eve of his first visit to New Zealand, Stephen says it’s as much of a thrill for the blockbuster musical to open in a small and more distant country as it is to see it on Broadway or in London’s West End. “All of us have given a great deal of thought to the reasons for its success and while there’s no real way of knowing the answer, my suspicion is that it has to do with the central character of Elphaba. She is a misunderstood girl, born emerald green, who is an outcast but comes into a sense of her power yet maintains her integrity throughout. She doesn’t get everything she wants; so it’s perhaps more true to life because we wanted it to feel real. I think all of us have our own green girl inside of us somewhere.”
ON NOW | The Civic
Playing live in AUCKlAnD THE HiTs...
Troublemaker, army of Two, ‘HearT SkipS a beaT, Dear Darlin' PlUs Many MorE!
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LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013
Flames Question: what’s the difference between Welsh opera boys Bryn Terfel and Jason Howard? Answer: Bryn thought about becoming a fireman but Jason actually did it – for seven very happy years. By Diana Balham.
ou don’t have to be able to sing like a hairy-chested angel to join the Welsh Fire Service but it helps, says Jason, who is back in New Zealand for the first time since 2007 to sing the title role in New Zealand Opera’s new production of The Flying Dutchman. Like Bryn, Jason grew up in an environment where singing was about
as notable as walking – and playing rugby. Belting out an aria in the watchhouse showers didn’t mark him out as someone special: “Singing has got street cred in Wales,” he says. “If you can’t put on a rugby jersey for Wales, singing is the next best thing.” Being a boy soprano didn’t make you a sissy – it just meant you’d probably join a long line of musically blessed uncles and grandfathers in the future. Jason dropped out when his voice broke but joined a male voice choir when he was 19. When he realised that singing was taking over his life, he went cold turkey: “I gave up singing one summer to see what it was like but there was a void in my life. There were some older guys in the choir. One was a truck driver and he had a real melancholy about him because he hadn’t tried to make it as a singer. I didn’t want to look back in my 50s and 60s and say, ‘I could have… I should have…’” So he threw caution and a pensionable career to the winds and took up study at London’s Trinity College of Music and then the Royal College of Music. Quite a few years down the track, Jason still looks as if he could nip down a smouldering
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tower with a damsel slung over one shoulder. He’s popped up on the Barihunks blogsite – “the Sexiest Baritone Hunks from Opera” – with reference to his very different but equally well-received performances in South Pacific and David McVicar’s eyepopping Ring des Nibelungen at the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg. His 2008 role in Die Walküre led to him being described as “the Wotan of his generation”. Being completely starkers for about 10 seconds didn’t hurt, either. You need to be in serious shape to sing Wagner, says Jason. He has moved away from the French and Italian repertoire towards German opera in recent years because it’s the right time for him: “You can’t start your career singing Wagner unless you’re a real natural or you’ll ruin your voice. German opera is usually written slightly lower. In Wagner’s Ring Cycle there are no arias – and they’re bloody long! It’s a
bit like going from being a middle-distance to a long-distance runner.” Now he’s singing the Dutchman for the second time in his career. A sort of oceangoing zombie, the Dutchman comes ashore once every seven years looking for a woman who will break his undead curse. “He’s a hard character to love,” says Jason. “A bit of a cipher. Is he a ghost? Is he a human? Whatever he is, he’s a sad entity. It’s pretty dark, really.” If only the Dutchman had spent time firefighting. That would have made a man out of him.
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN 5 – 12 October ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
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THE HITS & MEMORIES TOUR
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LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013 LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013
OVER THE RAINBOW
Mandy Patinkin is a Broadway hero, a television drama icon and beloved by a generation for his swashbuckling role in cult movie hit The Princess Bride. Nathan Gunn is an indemand baritone, who has performed at many of the great opera houses, crossed over into musical theatre and made an appearance on Family Guy. This November, the duo will perform a selection of their favourite songs at Aotea Centre's freshly refurbished ASB Theatre.
Nathan Gunn Credit: Sharkey Photography
Josie Campbell asked Mandy and Nathan about the upcoming concert, their off-stage lives and about each other.
What can audiences expect from An Evening with Mandy Patinkin & Nathan Gunn?
Mandy because they are very funny, but I also love the section we do about the American Civil War because it’s so moving.
Mandy: An eclectic mix of show tunes and art songs, a little opera, some Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and many surprises.
Describe the man you’ll be sharing the stage with.
Nathan: They can expect a lot of fun and also some real serious music making. Mandy and I have only known each other for the past two or three years, but I feel like I’ve known him my whole life. We really ‘get’ each other and have an intense desire to communicate to audiences through song and the spoken word. We bounce back and forth between the worlds of opera and musical theater, art song and folk song in a way that shows the similarity between them and also in a way that tells a complete story.
You’ll be performing with your long-time accompanists – what do you enjoy most about performing with just the voice and piano? Mandy: The simplicity of it. Nathan: The flexibility it allows me as an artist. The more collaborators in a performance the harder it is to be spontaneous.
Choosing a song list that reflects both of your tastes must be a challenge. What’s your favourite song from the concert and why is it special to you? Mandy: They are all my favorites, but I particularly love being quiet and listening to Nathan sing; it is indescribable – straight from heaven. Nathan: I don’t think that I have a favorite. I love singing the two agony duets with
Mandy: A voice from God; it is a privilege to get to sing with him. He is incredibly generous, completely relaxed and just a hell of a lot of fun to play with. Nathan: When I ever feel fear or wonder if I’m making the right musical decision… the right, or honest dramatic decision… I think of what Mandy would do. He is full of energy and incredibly loving.
You’ve done a number of these concerts together. Can you share an anecdote about something special or unexpected that has happened? Mandy: We were performing on my 60th birthday, and they organized a surprise, which was known to everyone but me. The entire audience and Nathan put on party hats, Nathan brought me a Dr Seuss-like party hat, my son showed up with a cake and surprised me with a father and son duet. From there, the party went on for hours. Nathan: One hot evening at a theater outside of Chicago, I forget the words to Over the Rainbow. I stopped. I apologized, and Mandy came up to me and said, “Do you want me to sing it in Yiddish?” Then he started to sing... IN YIDDISH!
What are you looking forward to seeing or doing while you’re in New Zealand? Mandy: Rotorua, the volcanoes, hiking and seeing as much of breathtaking New Zealand as time allows.
Nathan: There is going to be a lot of travelling and working, but I’d love to take a white-water rafting adventure in the area where The Lord of the Rings was filmed. I think that would be really great. Seeing some of the traditional Maori dancing as well would be fun.
You have a broad career – what’s a hobby or something that you’re really interested in that’s not your job? Mandy: Working to provide health care for everyone, working to help bring peace to the Middle East and, of course, everything about my children’s lives that they are willing to share with me. Nathan: I love to golf when I have the time (which isn’t often) and jumping on my motorcycle and just getting away is also something I enjoy.
What’s next for you after this tour comes to a close? Mandy: I open The Last Two People On Earth – An Apocalyptic Vaudeville with Taylor Mac, directed by Susan Stroman, off-Broadway in December, and then I will be back on the road doing concerts before returning to Charlotte, North Carolina, to begin filming season four of Homeland. Nathan: I head straight to the Metropolitan Opera in New York to begin rehearsals for The Magic Flute by Mozart.
AN EVENING WITH MANDY PATINKIN & NATHAN GUNN
24 November ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013
LIVE calendar THEATRE WICKED THE BROADWAY MUSICAL WICKED is coming to Auckland! This international blockbuster is now open at The Civic, for a strictly limited season. From 17 September | $54.90 – $199.90* The Civic
THE TEN TENORS Don’t worry about locking up your daughters... it’s your mums we’re after! The Ten Tenors head to New Zealand in October for a special Mum’s The Word tour. 26 & 27 October, 8pm | $55 – $89* ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
AIR SUPPLY Enjoy a memorable evening of timeless classics with the rich, beautiful melodies and soaring harmonies from true legends of power ballads, Air Supply. 5 December, 8pm | $89.90 – $129.90* tm The Civic
LIVE LIVE CINEMA: DEMENTIA 13 & CARNIVAL OF SOULS The ultimate 4D movie experience! Carnival of Souls and Coppola’s Dementia 13 get new live scores with Live Live Cinema. A dazzling mix of film, music and live performance. NZ Herald – “Exhilarating” 9 – 13 October, various times | $20 – $28* tm Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre RUDALI – THE FEMALE MOURNER Rudali tells the journey of a single woman in India who is forced to become a professional mourner for survival, and grieve aloud publicly upon the death of rich upper-caste males, but who ultimately becomes an icon of empowerment to women. 17 – 26 October, various times | $20 – $25* tm Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre
LIVE AT SIX When footage of a 6pm news anchor misbehaving goes viral, both her network and the competition have less than 24 hours to package the story. 12 – 16 November, various times | $20 – $35* (on sale from 30 September) tm Lower NZI, Aotea Centre
MUSIC FOALS Reckless and exhilarating, Oxford indie superstars FOALS are back. With their reputation for ferocious and savage live shows, demand for FOALS tickets will be high – get in quick! 5 October, 8pm | $74.50* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall CLANNAD It has been 18 years since the legendary Celtic folk heroes toured New Zealand. Ethereal and other-worldly, Clannad makes music to be transported by. 23 October, 8pm | $89.90 – $99.90* tm ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
OUR:HOUSE FESTIVAL OUR:HOUSE FESTIVAL is back bigger and better, featuring international superstar David Guetta and German DJ Zedd. More massive acts to be announced! 29 November, 6pm | $97.50* tm Mt Smart Stadium
VIVA VOCE: YULETIDE CAROLS BEING SUNG BY A CHOIR Auckland’s popular choir Viva Voce, under director John Rosser, presents a sparkling programme of Christmas music, including secular and traditional carol favourites. 15 December, 5pm | $10 – $45* Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall OLLY MURS The Edge and Nine Live present British pop star Olly Murs in one show only. Playing hits Dear Darlin, Troublemaker, Army of Two and more! 7 November, 7.30pm | $75* ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
CITY AND COLOUR Following the release of his latest album The Hurry and The Harm, City and Colour will be returning to New Zealand this December! 16 December, 7.30pm | $79.95* tm The Civic
SALT N PEPA Salt n Pepa are coming back to Auckland to perform all their legendary hits live. Don’t miss the original queens of hip hop! With hits like Let’s Talk About Sex, Shoop, Whatta Man, Do You Want Me and Tramp. 15 November, 8pm | $80 – $99* ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre MO GHRA – ALBA TO AOTEAROA Mother and daughter, Celine and Samantha Toner, direct from performances in China. Their strong bond and natural vocal blend create a breathtaking collection of contemporary Celtic classics. 15 November, 7.30pm | $35 – $38* (on sale from 1 October) tm Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall CHARLEY PRIDE Charley Pride is a timeless everyman who is revered by his musical peers and adored by millions of fans around the globe. His golden baritone voice has transcended race and spanned the generations. 23 November, 8pm | $97* tm ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre AN EVENING WITH MANDY PATINKIN AND NATHAN GUNN Broadway legend Mandy Patinkin and opera superstar Nathan Gunn combine their musical talents to create a unique and powerful evening. 24 November, 6pm | $69 – $199* tm ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
APO: GERMAN ROMANTICS In the tenth concert in the New Zealand Herald Premier Series, the APO welcomes back Natalia Lomeiko to perform the Bruch Violin Concerto No.1. 17 October, 8pm | $26 – $122* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
PENE PATI IN CONCERT A concert of grand opera solos and ensembles featuring five of New Zealand’s top young emerging operatic talents: Pene Pati, Amiti Pati, Jame Ioelu, Marlena Devoe and Armina Edris. Sponsored by the Opera Studio. 18 October, 7.30pm | $20 – $45* tm Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall THE TALLIS SCHOLARS The Tallis Scholars visit New Zealand for the first time as part of a landmark world tour. This is sublime vocal music at its absolute best. 23 October, 8pm | $10 – $110* Holy Trinity Cathedral APO: THE ROARING 20S The APO celebrates the Jazz Age in the final concert of the Newstalk ZB Splendour Series. Pianist John Chen performs Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. 24 October, 8pm | $26 – $122* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
CLASSICAL CMNZ: GOLDNER STRING QUARTET WITH PIERS LANE A concert that will have your ears humming with delight! Featuring music by Mendelssohn, Franck and a new work by Gareth Farr. 3 October, 8pm | $10 – $65* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall NZ OPERA: THE FLYING DUTCHMAN The Flying Dutchman, a cursed sea captain, sails his phantom ship across the world’s oceans. Only true love can save him. Wagner’s brooding tension, boundless energy and haunting melodies will have you hooked. 5 – 12 October, various times | $49.50 – $189.50* ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
Level 3, Aotea Centre
APO: MUSIC OF THE NIGHT Qantas presents a night of the other-worldly as the APO perform macabre and dramatic classics. Featuring music by Dukas, Saint-Saëns and Andrew Lloyd Webber. 31 October, 8pm | $19 – $83* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall CMNZ: BEETHOVEN RECYCLE PART THREE Michael Houstoun’s year-long Beethoven series culminates in three immersive concerts which include the great Pathétique, Moonlight and Les Adieux piano sonatas. 1 – 3 November, various times | $10 – $50* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
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BACH MUSICA NZ: FELIX MENDELSSOHN ST PAUL ORATORIO Mendelssohn’s St Paul Oratorio was his most popular work during his lifetime. With a stunning line-up of soloists this is a rare treat for New Zealand. Conductor: Rita Paczian. 13 October, 5pm | $10 – $65* tm Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
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LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013
October – December 2013 ORGAN CONCERT: INDRA HUGHES Well-known Aucklander Indra Hughes plays majestic organ music including Elgar’s Imperial March, Homage to Handel by Karg Elert, Huia by New Zealand composer Ben Hoadley and the Organ Sonata by Percy Whitlock. 3 November, 2pm | FREE – donation at exit Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall APO: SCANDINAVIAN ADVENTURE Clarinetist Nicola Jürgensen joins the APO for the eleventh concert in the New Zealand Herald Premier Series. A programme inspired by the far north featuring works by Grieg and Sibelius. 7 November, 8pm | $26 – $122* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall NZSO: FIREWORKS & FANTASY Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Britten’s A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Joana Carneiro conducts this concert of classical smash-hits. 8 November, 7pm | $32 – $126* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
APO 4 KIDS CHRISTMAS The APO brings the festive season to life with a fun and interactive concert for preschoolers, with favourite carols and sing-along and dancealong songs. Book at apo.co.nz 30 November, 10am & 11.30am | $15* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall NEW ZEALAND YOUNG CHINESE PIANO & VIOLIN CONCERT To discover young Chinese musical talent in New Zealand and provide a platform for successful young piano and violin players to demonstrate their extraordinary success in musical field, Pacific Culture and Arts Exchange Centre is hosting The 2013 New Zealand Chinese Young Piano & Violin Talent Concert. 30 November, 2pm tm Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall ASO: FREE FAMILY CONCERT – CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION The ASO presents a concert of sing-along Christmas favourites, conducted by Peter Thomas, with special guest choirs from Auckland churches. www.aucklandsymphony.co.nz 6 December, 7.30pm | FREE Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall BACH MUSICA NZ Bach’s Christmas Oratorio conveys the joyful and reflective aspects of the season with energy and passion, while Corelli’s Christmas Concerto is full of melodic invention. Conductor: Rita Paczian. 8 December, 5pm | $10 – $65* tm Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
APO: SETTLING THE SCORE LIVE The APO and Radio New Zealand Concert unveil your most loved orchestral works – live at Auckland Town Hall. 28 November, 8pm | $20 – $45* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
DANCE A FESTIVAL OF RUSSIAN BALLET Returning to New Zealand, The Imperial Russian Ballet Company’s A Festival of Russian Ballet features a diverse and stunning programme in three awe-inspiring acts. 30 & 31 October, 8pm | $55 – $97* ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
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THE THING FROM THE PLACE A screamingly silly mash-up of movie monsters and mad scientists, The Thing From The Place will hilarify the kid in all of us these holidays. 7 – 12 October, 11am & 1.30pm | $17* tm Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall THE WIGGLES – READY, STEADY, WIGGLE! Ready, Steady, Wiggle! with original Blue Wiggle, Anthony Field, and new cast – Red Wiggle Simon; the first female Wiggle, Emma, the yellow Wiggle and purple Wiggle Lachy, performing faves and latest songs. 16 November, 10am & 1pm | $40* tm ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
AUCKLAND DIWALI FESTIVAL 2013 Celebrated by Indian communities around the world. The two-day festival offers Aucklanders the chance to enjoy the food, culture and festivities of this colourful event. 19 & 20 October, midday | FREE Aotea Square
MESSIAH Auckland Choral heralds the festive season with Handel’s Messiah. Soloists: Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli, Anna Pierard, Christopher Bowen, Shane Lowrencev. Conductor: Uwe Grodd. Fine Baroque ensemble: Pipers Sinfonia. 16 & 17 December, 7.30pm | $29 – $89* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
THE LAUGHING SAMOANS: FOBULOUS One of New Zealand’s most successful live comedy acts return to Auckland with their latest comedy hit. Eteuati Ete and Tofiga Fepuleai have toured New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific islands and the USA playing to packed theatres. 2 November, 8pm | $15 – $50* ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
ASO: FREE FAMILY CONCERT – AMERICAN BEAUTY Featuring orchestral music by Bernstein, Gershwin, John Williams and Morton Gould as well as the beautiful Largo from Dvorak’s New World Symphony. Conductor: Peter Thomas. 10 November, 2.30pm | FREE Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall APO: SEASON FINALE The APO presents a programme of ‘night music’ and ritual in the final concert of the New Zealand Herald Premier Series, closing the season with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. 14 November, 8pm | $26 – $122* Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
MUSICA SACRA: CHRISTMAS AT THE TOWN HALL Musica Sacra, conducted by Indra Hughes, presents the annual Auckland Town Hall Christmas concert, including carols for choir and audience with Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra brass, percussion and organist Timothy Noon. 21 December, 8pm | $10 – $35* tm Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
DIGITAL ART LIVE: RAIN BY SEUNG YUL OH Rain is a playful, chaotic, interactive art work which invites users to germinate an unpredictable kaleidoscope of objects, images, and sounds. 27 August – 21 October | FREE Level 2, Aotea Centre DIGITAL ART LIVE: EMERGING PIXELS #3 A selection of interactive art works created by emerging talents from the Bachelor of Creative Technology, AUT University. From November | FREE Level 2, Aotea Centre
UNWRAPPING CHRISTMAS Aotea Square comes to life with Bandstand Under the Stars, Live at Lunch, Christmas Markets and outdoor performances to entertain Aucklanders in the lead up to Christmas. 9 – 21 December, various times | FREE Aotea Square HERITAGE FESTIVAL – THE CIVIC Join heritage architect George Farrant on the popular “Insiders’ tours” of The Civic, seeing public spaces, and areas usually closed to the public – backstage, fly-tower, basement, services and above the sky. Book at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/heritagefestival 30 November & 17 December, various times | FREE The Civic
MORE DIVERSITY CULTURE INTERNATIONAL – GALA NIGHT Showcasing Miss, Mrs and Mr Diversity International in their evening wear, beachwear and traditional wear. A night of glam and red carpet. Artists from The X-Factor NZ and more. Sponsored by Aqua Jewels Ltd. 16 November, 7pm | $25 – $70* tm Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
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LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013
LIVE Music OLLY MURS
7 November ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
SETTLING THE SCORE LIVE
28 November Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
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READY, STEADY, WIGGLE!
16 November ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
We asked and they answered – read our Q&As at www.the-edge.co.nz/hitpicks Watch videos on our blog at www.the-edge.co.nz/ thereadingroom
AIR SUPPLY 5 December The Civic
SALT N PEPA
15 November ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
HANDELS MESSIAH 16 & 17 December Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall
Music of the Night
8pm, Thursday 31 October, Auckland Town Hall Conductor Marc Taddei Singer Tim Beveridge Presenter Raymond Hawthorne
A concert of unearthly orchestral favourites for Halloween, including Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and ‘The Music of the Night’ from Phantom of the Opera.
Book now at buytickets.co.nz / 09-357-3355
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2014 | LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013
THE BIG SCREAM
Re-imaging noir horror films; Live Live Cinema is a thrilling mixture of live music, sound effects and voice-overs. Luke Oram talks to actress Fern Sutherland putting the screams into silent film.
t was in the early 1900s when the Talkies killed the silent film. They put Al Jolson up on celluloid and they never looked back. Parlour musicians packed up their pianos and moved back to the parlours, convinced they would never again jangle a live backdrop to a theatre crowd. Yet there is a sinister sect that would have you revel in the days of old, where Hitchcock was king, horror was painted in two dark tones, and a human scream was as close as the terrified dame on your arm… Touted as ‘the ultimate 4D cinema experience’, Live Live Cinema is to the fourth wall what Hitchcock was to voyeurism, re-imagining black-and-white horrors in a live fusion of theatre, film, music and live performance. Launched at Auckland Arts Festival in 2011 and featuring a stellar cast of local actors, Live Live Cinema's first foray into live theatre was their stunning treatment of Herk Harvey’s 1962 indie horror film Carnival of Souls. Seven musicians,
four actors and a live Foley artist recreate every line of dialogue, each note of musical score and every last sound effect, to create a fully immersive cinema experience. Talkies with real talk. Horror flicks with real screams. Auckland actress Fern Sutherland joined the cast, following that first season. Despite being a household name on screen (Go Girls, The Almighty Johnsons), she readily admits to having been terrified at the prospect of being a live overdub. “With theatre, if you mess up a line you can find your way back, you’ve got your fellow actors there helping you find your way,” says Fern. “With live cinema, you’re working against a film playing on mute – if you ad lib or stuff up, the whole thing ends up looking like bad dubbing. It’s a whole different type of concentration.” Fern says the live treatment of Carnival of Souls transforms the black-and-white cult film from a kitschy watch to a real scream. “I’d like to think that our treatment of the film is more terrifying than the original. The original you can appreciate in a nostalgic fashion, but Leon [Radojkovic, live
soundtrack composer] has totally recreated the soundscape and, as actors, we deliberately orchestrate moments of tension – I can see the audience jump, squeal and drop their popcorn. It’s pretty satisfying.” As well as a return season of Carnival of Souls, Fern and co. will be applying their live treatment to Francis Ford Coppola’s cult classic Dementia 13, a stylish noir slasher where Fern gets to play a short-lived femme fatale. In brief, she describes Dementia as beautifully shot, gothic and hilarious. In October, with the help of a live band, real-time sound effects and her on-stage thespian colleagues, Fern will talk you through the whole thing.
LIVE LIVE CINEMA
9 – 13 October Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre
Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Radio New Zealand Concert present
8PM, THURSDAY 28 NOVEMBER AUCKLAND TOWN HALL Hear the “people’s choice” top 20 works of 2013. Radio personality and music lover Jim Mora joins the APO to host a concert of your favourite orchestral works performed live.
LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013 | LOOKING AHEAD TO 2014
The Phoenix Foundation
Skipping a beat this year, 2014 sees the Big Day Out return bigger and better, relocated to a halcyon setting with arguably the best line-up ever – the likes of Blur, Pearl Jam, indie superstars Arcade Fire, and Snoop Lion will take to the stage. By Charles Moxham.
ince 1994, the Big Day Out NZ has been a magnet for anyone who likes the prospect of diverse overseas and local music acts gathered for a celebration of sounds, dance, culture and, well, life itself. Famously a festival that international acts are keen to be involved with, it has seen everyone from The Ramones to Neil Young to Fat Boy Slim bring its mosh pits alive. And our own stars, such as Shihad and The Phoenix Foundation, are a massive part of the vibe. Campbell Smith, promoter of BDO NZ for 19 years, says the festival suffered poor ticket sales in 2012, with several competing events, and so took a break this year. Cue a venue change to the sprawling grasses and birdlife-dotted lakes of Western Springs for 2014. “This is a stunning venue,” says Campbell. “Mt Smart was great, but the move from an outer-city stadium to a beautiful inner-city parkland is an excellent one.
There are the same number of stages as before but here they are set over a larger area.”
From the event-goer’s point of view, they get to check out new musical acts, beyond who they came to see.”
The 2014 Big Day Out will be something of a reinvention for the festival, taking on a more vibrant, New Zealand flavour with the inclusion of several Kiwi cultural and art installations, says Campbell. When pushed he was reluctant to give much away except to say there will be some fantastic visual surprises.
Sam also confesses some star stalking may be in order with one of his own all-time faves, Blur, headlining.
Founding member of The Phoenix Foundation Sam Flynn Scott provides a front-of-stage perspective. As an aficionado of the event having played at it three times already, he says performing at festivals has a different feel to the band’s own gigs. “The Big Day Out caters to a spectrum of musical tastes and your audience is quite different, and naturally bigger. This gains us exposure to a lot more people and we thrive on the exhilaration of the massive crowd.
The singer says he is looking forward to the shift in venue. “I think Western Springs is ideal for the BDO. The beautiful natural setting and expansive footprint for 2014 will give it the relaxed, mixed-entertainment ambience of classic English festivals like Glastonbury” (The Phoenix Foundation played there in 2011). Both Campbell and Sam commented on the 2014 festival continuing the lofty musical heritage of the site. Everyone from Bob Marley to David Bowie has performed at Western Springs Stadium, which will be home to the double main stage come 17 January.
So: food, art, culture, dance and music, music, music – all threaded amongst trees, water and swans. Early-bird tickets were snapped up soon after going on sale and regular tickets are following fast. Grab your own admission slip and keep it safe – this is shaping up to be a particularly awesome summer experience.
Tell us your best Big Day Out memory to go in the draw to win a double pass! Enter at www.the-edge.co.nz/comps
BIG DAY OUT
17 January 2014 Western Springs Stadium
Costume sketches by Lesley Burkes-Harding
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2014 | LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013
MODERN FAVOURITE Designers John Harding and Lesley Burkes-Harding are two of New Zealand’s most experienced and versatile designers; immersed in the hothouse of the Mercury Theatre for the early part of their careers, and with a number of theatre credits to their names, they’ve both also spent most of the last 15 years working in film, including senior design roles on films such as Predicament, Home by Christmas, Out of the Blue, Avatar and, of course, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. By Bronwyn Bent.
his dual experience working across both film and theatre means that they are well placed to consider the contrasts between the two mediums. Lesley explains, “It’s massively different; it’s a similar process but only from a creative point of view. From the minute you start to put it all into manufacture it’s night and day.” Like many people who work across film and theatre, John is clear about the advantages of shuttling between the two: “We don’t do theatre for the money, we do it because we’re going to have a great time. With theatre and musicals you get to sit in the theatre, and it’s so much fun to watch actors do good work. You don’t get that so much in film, that ability to watch the process.” In terms of the overall design, John explains: “Film will only ever use 10% or 15% of what you’ve created, whereas in theatre, it’s everything: it’s facing the audience; it’s got lights on it, you can’t hide it.” Lesley continues: “I like working in both mediums for very different reasons. When they do show work on screen, it can be seen in very minute detail so little tiny details of
embroidery or something you’ve done, it can all be seen. On The Hobbit I dressed Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly, and everything on them can be seen in 3D, high-def, 35 foot tall, so it’s worth all that time and effort.” Whilst requiring no less time and effort, “theatre is quite different: it’s about the big picture – what’s visible from a distance.” John continues: “You work with silhouettes, shapes. More often than not it's a picture frame, a painting you need to balance; it becomes one big image... you can’t skimp on the detail because it all adds up.” It’s this mass of detail that the two designers are currently working through for Auckland Music Theatre’s Mamma Mia! which will open at The Civic in March 2014. Excitingly for both the design team and audiences, this version of the show is the first time since the original West End production that it will have a new design; every performance of Mamma Mia! since 1999 has been obliged to use the same set and costumes, so the chance to completely redesign it is something of a big deal. It’s a deal that both John and Lesley are entering into with great enthusiasm. Lesley says: “Our brief was to design something very different, which frankly we’re very happy about. We welcome the opportunity to have a fresh approach to the design for 2014, as opposed to 1999.” John adds: “I personally wanted to give it a massive boost of fun and light. People in New Zealand know what bright summer holidays are like. I’ve said to everyone it’s that hot, humming light that you get when you go on holiday to Fiji and buy an inappropriately loud shirt. Certainly on my side, and on Lesley’s as well I think, we’re sort of wallowing in colour and light and wit and humour.” Lesley has taken some inspiration from the clothes of ABBA, although she’s not embracing every aspect of them: “What strikes me about them is that they’re so badly made, and a lot of them don’t fit that well. I wanted to keep a sense of ABBA, but also infuse something else in there to make it a bit more high tech for 2014.” This is a production with some unique challenges: having to design for one theatre that hasn’t been built yet, one that’s
It’s a show filled to the brim with sheer good feeling and, as Lesley says: “Everybody loves it, because you can’t help it. It’s just a hell of a good time.” undergoing post-earthquake restoration, and the creation of costumes that will look fantastic on nine very diverse casts all around the country. Lesley has a pragmatic answer to this: “Wide seams, elastic and long hems.” John has a similar solution to ensuring the set looks like it was built for both the magnificent 16-metre-wide Civic stage and the 9-metre-wide space in New Plymouth: “I’ve done this before, so you just have sacrificial bits of set you just don’t use in some places, which is not very fair because it might be cool stuff, but what I’m doing with this one is making everything stretchy so it can shrink and expand.” As Lesley says: “There’s a lot to take into account. It’s a big job.” Undaunted by the huge task, both designers obviously have great affection for Mamma Mia!, with John remarking: “It’s a great show; it’s pure entertainment.” It’s a show filled to the brim with sheer good feeling and, as Lesley says: “Everybody loves it, because you can’t help it. It’s just a hell of a good time.” It’s easy to see the enthusiasm they have for giving an old(ish) favourite a new look, and no doubt this energy will translate into a brighter and bolder production.
From 4 March 2014 | The Civic
LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013 | LOOKING AHEAD TO 2014
UK STARS HIT THE STAGE FOR
Best known in New Zealand for her breakthrough performance as the daffy Peggy on Hi-de-Hi!, English comedy actress and singer Su Pollard is heading to New Zealand next year to play the villainous Miss Hannigan in Annie, joined by a colourful cast of UK stage and screen stars. By Josie Campbell.
u Pollard will head up a stellar cast of well-known faces from classic British sitcoms, TV dramas and West End shows, when Annie comes to The Civic next year.. David McAlister (Dr Who, Hollyoaks, Miss Marple, The Mousetrap) will play the kindly billionaire businessman Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks; Frazer Hines, best known as Joe Sugden in Emmerdale for 22 years, and with 117 episodes of Dr Who to his credit, will play former US President Franklin D Roosevelt. Joining them are two stars from the hit TV comedy series ‘Allo ‘Allo – Sue Hodge, who played waitress Mimi Labonq for five years, and John D Collins who played Flying Officer Fairfax for ten years.
So how does the stage differ from appearing on the small screen? Su says that with sitcoms you strive for perfection in the first take, because that’s where the magic is, and it’s never quite the same if you have to film a scene a second time. “The luxury, when you’re doing a stage show, is the audience is there with you – they’re listening to what you’re saying and they’re coming on the journey with you, so there’s two of you, audience and artist.
The stage show Annie has been a huge hit ever since its Broadway debut in 1977, winning six Tony Awards that year, including Best Musical. The New York Times estimates that the show is produced between 700 and 900 times every year in the United States, and the latest Broadway production was nominated for Best Revival at this year’s Tony Awards. The story and songs from the musical have embedded themselves into contemporary pop culture, with It’s the Hard Knock Life sampled in Jay Z’s Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) and references on South Park and Saturday Night Live. Less current, but still a favourite, Chandler raises eyebrows on Friends by absentmindedly singing Tomorrow, before it’s revealed that he owns two copies of the soundtrack. Su Pollard is thrilled to be reprising one of the classic roles of musical theatre. Miss Hannigan is an embezzler and a drunk, but somehow emerges as one of the most popular characters in the feel-good stage show – someone audiences love to hate as she makes life difficult for sassy young heroine Annie and the rest of the orphans. It is a role Su knows well, after touring across the UK and more recently in Hong Kong and Singapore. According to the actress, Miss Hannigan isn’t as nasty as people think – she’s just misunderstood. “Miss Hannigan is thought of as being horrible, but I always say she’s not,” Su protests. “She’s just frustrated because she never gets any male company. All she sees is a man who comes to change the sheets once a month. And she’s taken to drink, you see; she hides Jack Daniels bottles all over the orphanage. “You can see why Miss Hannigan takes to drink, because the orphans keep dangling dead mice in front of her – they’re awful to her! She’s just fed up; she’s been with the kids all her life and she’s never seen anything else. It’s a really fun role to play.” Coming from Su, that’s a strong endorsement, given that her professional biography reads like a ‘how to have fun and work at the same time’ guide. Spanning four decades, her career has been non-stop, crossing music (her first single Starting Together reached number two on the UK charts), one-woman shows, sitcoms and of course theatre work. Su is also a pantomime regular; this Christmas she’ll appear in Peter Pan as Mimi the Magical Mermaid, alongside David Hasselhoff as Captain Cook, in her home city of Nottingham.
“And you can’t stop unless there’s a terrible technical hitch. But, invariably, with a stage show you just go straight through from beginning to end, seamlessly. I don’t think you can beat stage shows, to be honest. I like the immediacy of it.” Is Annie as relevant today as in the early days? As Su puts it, art imitates life. “The sub-plot was all about the Wall Street Crash and the Depression. Of course, now there’s been an economic crisis around the world, and it just shows you that it’s still relevant today. “The great thing about Annie is that it makes people laugh, it makes them cry, and that song about tomorrow gives them a bit of hope.” You can bet your bottom dollar that she’s right!
From 13 June 2014 | The Civic
CASTING NEWS Further members of the international cast of Annie will be announced shortly. In an exciting opportunity for aspiring young actresses, the roles of Annie and the orphans will be cast locally, as will the leading canine role of Sandy the dog. Keep an eye out for audition announcements later this year.
AUCKLAND MUSIC THEATRE INC. & AMICI PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS: LIVE / OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2013 16
THE SMASH HIT MUSICAL
BASED ON THE SONGS OF
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY
BENNY ANDERSSON & BJÖRN ULVAEUS
AND SOME SONGS WITH STIG ANDERSON BOOK BY
4 - 23 MARCH 2014 0800 111 999
THE CIVIC, THE EDGE
THE MAMMA MIA! NEW ZEALAND TOUR 2014 - 2016 AUCKLAND DUNEDIN INVERCARGILL NAPIER ROTORUA NEW PLYMOUTH HAMILTON PALMERSTON NORTH BLENHEIM CHRISTCHURCH •
By arrangement with Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd, Exclusive agent for Music Theatre International (NY)