Entertainment for all ages
any years ago I was asked by the Palmerston North Operatic Society to musically direct Calamity Jane. I was on my way to study in England but I fitted it in before I left.
I didn’t know much about the show but, when I researched it, I discovered a marvellous song called Secret Love sung by Doris Day. She starred in the 1950s movie, Calamity Jane. It led to researching the show and finding out more about Doris.
I discovered she was christened Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff. Her parents were German. Now the name wasn’t helpful when she was starting out around 1940 and so she took the name Day from the title of one of her first recordings, Day After Day.
Doris had a wonderful career stretching at least four decades. She was a vocalist, movie star and television personality and was America’s most popular female artist for many years. She is still alive today, aged 94.
New Zealand musical theatre star, Ali Harper, has also had a fascination for Doris Day. She’s studied her life for about four years and met Doris on her 92nd birthday.
Ali is bringing her one-woman show, A Doris Day Special, to the Regent on Broadway on Sunday, July 10, at 4pm. It’s set in 1971 when Doris is filming a television special in Hollywood and the audience becomes part of Ali’s celebration of Doris’s life and songs.
Doris Day is sure to resonate with an older audience but also with a younger generation who’ve discovered the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Another show with a global focus is World on Stage. The spectacle, presented by the Manawatu Multicultural Council at the Regent on Saturday, July 2, at 7pm, will showcase acts from more than 20 ethnic groups in the city to demonstrate that Palmerston North is enriched by many different cultures.
World on Stage provides these groups within the city with a unique opportunity to present traditional dance, theatre and vocal and instrumental music from their country of origin.
If Doris Day is remembered by an older audience, then Zookeeper Sam’s Bad Day is definitely for youngsters and their families. Presented by Tall Poppies, the show, written by local playwright, Amy Atkins, is great school holiday fun and will extend from July 11-15 at The Globe.
Zookeeper Sam and the creatures in his zoo all have problems and it’s up to the youngsters in the audience to help solve them.
The set and costumes have arrived and Abbey Musical Theatre’s major production for 2016 is well into rehearsal. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS will strut the Regent stage from August 12-27.
When it was last performed here about 10 years ago, it was the highest attended show ever staged at the Regent On Broadway and now, with the enduring musical still playing to packed houses around the world, it’s time for CATS to return.
In Enjoy this month we have an interview with Auckland based choreographer, Teesh Szabo, who’s returned to transform the cast into graceful and slinky felines.
There’s a lot to enjoy on our stages in the weeks ahead.