Stand­ing ova­tion for world pre­miere

The Tribune (NZ) - - THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT - RE­VIEWED BY RICHARD MAYS

Aotearoa: A New Zealand Rock Mu­si­cal by Jamie Lawrence Di­rected by Lor­raine Lep­per; Mu­si­cal di­rec­tor Ra­mon Oza; Chore­og­ra­phy Mar­garet & Caitlin San­son. Levin Per­form­ing Arts, Novem­ber 27 – De­cem­ber 12

Fans of clas­sic Kiwi mu­sic should enjoy this en­vi­ron­men­tally flavoured rock mu­si­cal. It’s Sydney-based writer Jamie Lawrence at­tended the ‘world’ pre­miere as this sim­ple tale of green ac­tivism was lov­ingly wrapped in some of the great­est old-school Kiwi hits.

From Whal­ing to I See Red, An­chor Me to Na­ture, Bliss to Don’t Dream its Over and fin­ish­ing with a haka, For To­day and the Gum­boot Song, the mu­si­cal story of en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists ver­sus greedy de­vel­oper was backed by Te Horo band Black Eyed Susie.

Well staged, the show segued seam­lessly as en­vi­ron­men­tal lawyer, Max­ine Rawhiti played by Cat Lamb is drawn to her Westland roots in op­po­si­tion to the build­ing of a re­sort ho­tel.

The pro­duc­tion came up trumps with Asaria Saili as fish­er­man Dan, and Geena Collins-Old­ham as Sash. While not all the voices were as strong, the band kept on pump­ing out the hits for a great foot-tap­ping, feel-good show that drew a stand­ing ova­tion.

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