Bring­ing Broad­way to the Cap­i­tal stage


De­spite be­ing sit­u­ated a world away from both Broad­way and Lon­don’s West End, there’s a grow­ing ap­petite for musical the­atre in New Zealand.

That’s ac­cord­ing to sea­soned Bri­tish di­rec­tor and per­former Andy Reiss who will soon test his the­ory when he brings his show Be­yond the Bar­ri­cade to Welling­ton.

‘‘There seems to be a lot of so­ci­eties who re­ally want to do these types of shows so cer­tainly the fan base for musical the­atre ex­ists there so I hope that we can play a small part in bring­ing some of those sounds and those fan­tas­tic mu­si­cals peo­ple haven’t heard for a while.’’

The show will fea­ture mu­sic from sev­eral pop­u­lar mu­si­cals in­clud­ing The Phantom of the Opera, Evita and West Side Story.

Reiss, who pre­vi­ously worked as a per­former and res­i­dent di­rec­tor for Les Mis­er­ables, came up with the idea for the con­cert 17 years ago, along­side his cos­tar David Fawcett.

It orig­i­nally be­gan as a char­ity show, per­formed ev­ery Sun­day, but Reiss said that was just the start.

‘‘We thought we’d carry on do­ing them and it sort of cre­ated a life of its own and we’ve not stopped since.’’

Reiss be­lieved it was not only the va­ri­ety of songs on of­fer, that had made the show such a suc­cess for so many years.

‘‘We don’t use back­ing tracks, so ev­ery musical note is played and sung live.’’

He said the cast wanted to de­liver the mu­sic as if the au­di­ence were watch­ing the ac­tual shows.

Lunch­box The­atri­cal Pro­duc­tions chief ex­ec­u­tive James Cun­dall saw the show last year while in the UK and said he was bowled over by the qual­ity of their per­for­mances, and the in­ti­mate am­bi­ence of the show.

‘‘Hav­ing brought many of the top mu­si­cals to New Zealand over the last two decades, I in­stantly thought they would be warmly re­ceived by the many musical the­atre lovers here.’’

Reiss said the Welling­ton au­di­ence could ex­pect a ‘‘full on on­slaught of some of the big­gest songs in musical the­atre.’’

The cast will travel from Kerik­eri to In­ver­cargill on a 21-stop con­cert tour that Reiss said he was both ner­vous and ex­cited about.

‘‘We can not wait to get there.’’

* Be­yond the Bar­ri­cade, The Opera House, Oc­to­ber 1. Book at Tick­etek.

Be­yond the Bar­ri­cade fea­tures only those who have been cast mem­bers in Les Mis­er­ables.

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