TV’S Cortese stars in rock opera
An actor who has played numerous lead roles in New Zealand television and one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s favourite actresses are taking the lead roles in a new production of a Hamilton-made rock musical.
Shane Cortese and Delia Hannah will star in a revamped version of State Highway 48.
The show, which premiered in July 2014 with a limited season at Hamilton’s Clarence Street Theatre and a subsequent showing at the 2015 Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, is described as a rock opera that tells the story of an everyday family and their friends, navigating the hurdles of middle age.
It will come to The Plaza, Putaruru, on October 19 and 20.torua, Taupo, Tauranga and Putaruru.
Best known for his roles in Shortland Street, Nothing Trivial, Outrageous Fortune and The Almighty Johnsons,cortese has stepped into the central role of Dave, a man battling against looming redundancy and depression, an entity made manifest in a character known as the Black Dog, played by James Foster.
Hannah will play Dave’s wife Sharon, a suburban housewife whose character is described as fragile, lost, loving, and disenfranchised. ‘‘Delia is amazing,’’ producer and writer Chris Williams said.
‘‘She was cast by Andrew Lloyd Webber for the UK tour of Aspects of Love, and has toured Australia and Asia extensively, starring in all the big shows including Mamma Mia!, Cats, Chess, Blood Brothers and Disney’s production of Mary Poppins.’’
Williams said the show would appeal to a very broad spectrum of ages, but would particularly resonate with those approaching and experiencing mid life, regardless of whether it came with an accompanying crisis.
‘‘The show is a 21st century story that tracks the life and times of an everyday family and their friends as they navigate the treacherous road of middle age.
‘‘Changes in the family, workplace, and friendship are set against the backdrop of the recession with the black dog of depression taking the driver’s seat in Dave, the lead male’s life, taking everyone on a journey.
‘‘It’s funny, dramatic, emotional and entertaining. A reminder about the important things in life and the dangers of not facing up to depression.’’ Gardeners and school children are being invited to run the very first ‘‘citizen science’’ survey of bee numbers in New Zealand.
Scientists from Plant & Food Research, NZ Gardener magazine and Stuff.co.nz have teamed up to run The Great Kiwi Bee Count.
The survey of bee numbers is intended to provide a baseline for generations of research into the bees.
NZ Gardener editor Jo Mccarroll said bees should not be taken for granted.
‘‘We do need a baseline so we can see how our bees are doing.’’
Throughout September, Kiwis young and old are encouraged to get into their gardens, parks or neighbourhood.
It’s the perfect excuse to get the kids outdoors.
To take part you just need to click on the link on your smart phone or other device and then head outside.
Over a two-minute period, you need to count how many bees and other pollinators you can see on any flowering plant (there are photos to help you ID the different bees and bugs you see).
Bee counters are encouraged to note down the type of flowering plant and pay attention to the type of bee they spot.
They can then record the results on stuff.co.nz/greatkiwibeecount.
The data gathered f over the month will help scientists work out the state of bee health and numbers in the country.
Shane Cortese is heading to Putaruru in a new production.