Top shows chase away win­ter blues

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY - Mal­colm Hop­wood

Win­ter is a great time to take you out of your­self.

The per­form­ing arts know that all too well and have pro­vided a line-up to lift the spir­its, glad­den the hearts and bring a smile to the face.

The Re­gent on Broad­way launches its Au­gust Fes­ti­val from next week with two en­dur­ing movie favourites where the au­di­ence can raid their wardrobe, dress to kill and sin­ga­long with chart top­ping hits. They are The Rocky Hor­ror Pic­ture Show

(Au­gust 4) and Grease (Au­gust 18).

A unique fea­ture of the fes­ti­val is the Re­gent’s own pro­duc­tion of The 3

Phan­toms. Palmer­ston North is in­deed a cra­dle of cham­pi­ons and this re­gion pro­vides two out of three Phan­toms who’ve played the ma­jor New Zealand venues.

Chris Crowe and Karl Perigo re­turn to­gether with ra­dio per­son­al­ity, Tim Bev­eridge - who played the role in Syd­ney - to pay homage to the An­drew Lloyd Web­ber clas­sic mu­si­cal and pre­sent an ex­cit­ing pro­gramme of songs from great pro­duc­tions of the last six decades.

The 3 Phan­toms are joined by New Zealand’s finest Chris­tine, Bar­bara Gra­ham, who sang op­po­site Chris Crowe in both Auck­land and Welling­ton. The im­pres­sive quar­tet of singers comes to the Re­gent stage on Sun­day Au­gust 6.

The Re­gent has also per­suaded Hen’s Teeth to rise from the ashes. This ev­er­green women’s com­edy com­pany, first es­tab­lished nearly 30 years ago, re­turns with a line-up of old guard and new blood. Think of Pinky Agnew, Dame Kate Harcourt, He­len Moul­der, Prue Lang­bein and lo­cal per­form­ers Car­rie Green and Sarah Harpur.

Three jazz/rock leg­ends come to­gether on Au­gust 20 in a mem­o­rable fundrais­ing event for the Rodger Fox Big Band. The band has been in­vited to the pres­ti­gious 60th Mon­terey Jazz Fes­ti­val and, to help fund their trip, Rodger has in­vited rock­ers, Larry Mor­ris, Andy An­der­son and Ped­dlers’ vo­cal­ist Roy Phillips to join the line-up.

Phillips alone has sold 45 mil­lion records and to at­tract them all on the same bill is a tes­ta­ment to Rodger’s in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion. They per­form at the Re­gent on

Au­gust 20 at 4pm. A to­tal con­trast is Kathi Craig’s

Broad­way Goes to Church. Some of the great­est, record-break­ing Broad­way shows have a strong faith el­e­ment and Kathi has cho­sen mu­sic from such pop­u­lar mu­si­cals as God­spell, Je­sus Christ Su­per­star, Whis­tle Down the Wind, Porgy and Bess and The Prince of Egypt.

The cos­tumed, di­rected pro­duc­tion is a New Zealand pre­miere and is per­formed at the Cathe­dral of the Holy Spirit on Satur­day Au­gust 19 at 7pm.

On the same night Ali Harper opens at Cen­tre­point with a de­light­ful one-woman re­vue called Songs for No­bod­ies, a mu­si­cal jour­ney that sees five work­ing women whose lives are changed by a chance en­counter with a star. In do­ing so Ali tri­umphs with songs from five dif­fer­ent di­vas.

You would think those at­trac­tions are the ‘‘full monty’’ for Au­gust but The Full

Monty is still to come. Abbey Mu­si­cal Theatre’s out­ra­geous and hugely en­ter­tain­ing mu­si­cal, a story about how six un­em­ployed men em­brace strip­tease as a means of mak­ing a liv­ing, opens at Wal­lace De­vel­op­ment Com­pany Theatre (The Au­di­to­rium) on Au­gust 10 and runs through un­til Au­gust 26.

Yes, Au­gust pro­vides a mu­si­cal and the­atri­cal feast.

Bar­baraGra­ham will be on stage in The3Phan­toms.

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