Broadway hits will cel­e­brate Clarence St Theatre mile­stone

Hamilton News - - BUSINESS - Peter Tiffany

Hamil­ton’s Clarence Street Theatre is mak­ing a real song and dance about its suc­cess at be­com­ing a vi­able com­mu­nity-owned as­set saved from the threat of be­ing bowled to cre­ate a su­per­mar­ket car park.

A cel­e­bra­tion con­cert — Broadway Hit­men — runs from Oc­to­ber 18 to 21 fea­tur­ing the much-loved mu­sic of of Cole Porter and An­drew Lloyd Web­ber. Tick­ets are on sale now from Tick­etek.

The show cel­e­brates the theatre trust’s achieve­ment and launches fundrais­ing for new equip­ment for the theatre’s users.

It was just over four years ago that Clarence St Theatre, owned by the city coun­cil faced be­ing “ra­tio­nalised ”out of the coun­cil’s prop­erty port­fo­lio.

Fol­low­ing the One Vic­to­ria Trust’s suc­cess with ac­quir­ing the Me­teor Theatre in Hamil­ton the Clarence Street Theatre Trust was formed to op­er­ate Clarence St for the com­mu­nity, should it be gifted by the coun­cil.

Long story short, a work­ing group led by Creative Waikato worked hard to make it hap­pen and win over the coun­cil. The coun­cil agreed but there were three years of hard work to meet the con­di­tions and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties set.

They did it. On Septem­ber 27 the Trust had con­fir­ma­tion that their deed of gift had been com­pleted and Clarence St Theatre now be­longs to the com­mu­nity

Gen­eral Man­ager of the theatre, Ja­son Wade, said he had al­ready been tasked with find­ing a suit­able show to mark the oc­ca­sion.

“I had re­cently seen Show­biz Christchurch, ar­guably NZ’S lead­ing mu­si­cal theatre or­gan­i­sa­tion, pro­duc­tion of Broadway Hit­men at the Isaac Theatre. It was glam­orous fun and won­der­ful night of en­ter­tain­ment for all ages.

“It was the per­fect fit for the trus­tees’ re­quest.” Af­ter ne­go­ti­at­ing rights, it was con­firmed the Trust could stage the Christchurch pro­duc­tion here.

The first act has mu­sic from shows such as Kiss Me Kate, Can Can, Jubilee, Gay Di­vorce and closes with the fa­mous tap dance num­ber from Any­thing Goes. The sec­ond act, mu­sic by An­drew Lloyd Web­ber, opens with Phan­tom of the Opera, CATS, Sun­set Boule­vard, Pie Jesu, and closes with Je­sus Christ Su­per­star.

The cast is 35 lo­cal and na­tional per­form­ers, sup­ported by a 30-piece or­ches­tra specif­i­cally gath­ered for the event.

The show is more than just a stand and sing event.

“The cast brings well-known num­bers to life giv­ing them mean­ing and hope and hon­est rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the song’s in­ten­tion,” Di­rec­tor Kyle Chuen says.

“I am so ex­cited to work with such a ta­lented group of mu­si­cians and per­form­ers,” Mu­si­cal di­rec­tor, Vic­to­ria Tren­with says. “I’m get­ting tin­gles down my spine at re­hearsals al­ready.”

“Broadway Hit­men will cel­e­brate the suc­cess of Clarence Street Theatre Trust all those who have sup­ported the theatre over the past three years. We have es­tab­lished a sus­tain­able model, and the world is our oys­ter,” says Paul Mitchell, Chair­per­son of the Clarence Street Theatre Trust.

■ Broadway Hit­men runs for two hours in­clud­ing in­ter­val. There is a range of times in­clud­ing evening and mati­nee, Oc­to­ber 18-21. Tick­ets start at $31.40 for chil­dren. Book­ings at Tick­etek.

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