Stage set for a bash

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Anna Colquhoun

The stage is be­ing set and the scripts re­hearsed for Auck­land’s long­est run­ning mu­si­cal the­atre’s 90th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions.

Auck­land Mu­sic The­atre in West­mere once pro­duced shows big enough to play in the for­mer His Majesty’s The­atre in Queen St.

Al­though it now op­er­ates on a smaller scale the pas­sion of those in­volved in keep­ing the mu­sic alive has not faded.

The non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion is cel­e­brat­ing its mile­stone with sev­eral well-known pro­duc­tions through­out the year, in­clud­ing its lat­est, the Stephen Sond­heim mu­si­cal As­sas­sins.

Nicko Vella plays one of the lead char­ac­ters and can be recog­nised from his pre­vi­ous role in the New Zealand drama Jack­son’s Wharf and a child­hood stint in Wat­ties ads.

Nicko’s mother and Auck­land Mu­sic The­atre chair­woman Pauline Vella says it is a great place for young peo­ple to learn the ropes.

“We of­fer the op­por­tu­nity to train and up­skill. Peo­ple need to start some­where and here they get the chance to be on stage.”

Once called the Auck­land Op­er­atic So­ci­ety, the the­atre fos­tered the tal­ent of Dame Malv­ina Ma­jor who was a choir mem­ber in the early stages of her ca­reer.

Ms Vella says she is keen to con­tinue its rich his­tory.

“The cur­rent board be­lieves it is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to keep the place go­ing un­til our 100th.”

The 90th cel­e­bra­tions will con­tinue later this year with the pro­duc­tion of Show Boat, a show which is al­most as old as the the­atre and was also used to mark its 50th birth­day.

An af­ter­noon tea is be­ing held on Au­gust 22 at the West­mere stu­dio to rem­i­nisce about the the­atre’s his­tory and every­one’s wel­come to at­tend.

For more de­tails on As­sas­sins, which runs from to­mor­row un­til July 25, the 90th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions or how to get in­volved with the the­atre go to www.auck­land­mu­sicthe­atre.org.nz. – Anna Colquhoun is an AUT jour­nal­ism stu­dent

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

The­atre mile­stone: Pauline and Nicko Vella star in a show to cel­e­brate Auck­land Mu­sic The­atre’s 90th birth­day.

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