Stars return home to perform hit show
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.