TV’S Cortese stars in rock opera

South Waikato News - - Your Health - MIKE MATHER

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 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 on­wibeecount.

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.

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