Stars re­turn home to per­form hit show

The Tribune (NZ) - - WHAT'S ON -

Two of New Zealand’s most ac­com­plished per­form­ers, who started their ca­reers in Palmer­ston North, are here on Oc­to­ber 6 to per­form one show of the hit mu­si­cal, State High­way 48.

Shane Cortese and Delia Han­nah are the leads in the show that’s been get­ting rave re­views from au­di­ences and crit­ics around the coun­try.

State High­way 48 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 made even more chal­leng­ing as the black dog of de­pres­sion takes the driver’s seat in Dave, the lead male’s life.

It’s funny, dra­matic, emo­tional and en­ter­tain­ing - a re­minder about the im­por­tant things in life; the dan­gers of not fac­ing up to de­pres­sion and a cel­e­bra­tion of the ev­ery­day.

Cortese, who has a long list of act­ing cred­its in­clud­ing Out­ra­geous For­tune, Noth­ing Triv­ial and The Almighty John­stons, plays the role of Dave and is rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity to build a part from scratch.

‘‘This is a new show so I get to give my own take on Dave. He goes through what a lot of men go through at his age, much of which gets buried. The au­di­ence goes along for the ride, wit­ness­ing the con­se­quences of his ac­tions,’’ Shane says.

‘‘I’m look­ing for­ward to com­ing back to where my ca­reer got go­ing. I helped back­stage at Abbey The­atre on a show called The Pa­jama Game. I fell in love with the whole scene, au­di­tioned for the next show and it went from there.

‘‘I was lucky enough to per­form at the Opera House be­fore it was de­mol­ished and I al­ways love per­form­ing at the Re­gent. It’s very spe­cial to re­turn in a home-grown show to the city where it all started for me.’’

Delia Han­nah is widely re­garded as New Zealand’s first lady of mu­si­cal the­atre. Among many ac­co­lades she was cast by An­drew Lloyd Web­ber to tour the UK in As­pects of Love.

‘‘I have many great mem­o­ries of Palmy, in­clud­ing lead singer in a lo­cal band, win­ning a singing con­test and per­form­ing at some big char­ity events and even a Telethon!’’ she says.

‘‘My big break in mu­si­cal the­atre came when I was cast as Roxie Hart in Chicago. This gave me the ex­pe­ri­ence and con­fi­dence to break into the pro­fes­sional world. It was Aus­tralia from there where I was part of the pre­miere pro­duc­tion of Les Mis­er­ables.’’

State High­way 48 is a mu­si­cal writ­ten by Hamil­ton-based Chris Wil­liams, a Massey grad­u­ate who lived in Palmer­ston North in the ‘80s. It’s in the city for one show only on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 6 at the Ren­gent on Broad­way. Tick­ets from Ticket Di­rect.


Shane Cortese is the star of a show com­ing to Palmer­ston North.

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