En­ter­tain­ment for all ages

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY! -

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.

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