Easter is an oc­ca­sion for ev­ery­one

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY! - Mal­colm Hop­wood

Easter is a re­li­gious fes­ti­val and, for thou­sands of peo­ple through­out New Zealand, will be a time to re­mem­ber the events of the cru­ci­fix­ion and res­ur­rec­tion.

It’s a great time of year and Easter Sun­day is a cause for cel­e­bra­tion. An­other cause for cel­e­bra­tion is the City of Palmer­ston North Gold Cup Fes­ti­val. It fea­tures the Manawatu¯ Sires’ Pro­duce Stakes, New Zealand’s premier two-year-old race over 1400 me­tres.

For pun­ters, it’s an im­por­tant meet­ing. But it’s more than a day out at the races. It’s an op­por­tu­nity for the com­mu­nity to come to­gether and en­joy a won­der­ful sum­mer and au­tumn in The Square and ex­pe­ri­ence rac­ing at its best.

The Gold Cup starts tonight in The Square with food, re­fresh­ment and ac­tiv­i­ties for young and old, then moves to the Manawatu¯ Race­way with har­ness, grey­hound and celebrity rac­ing to­mor­row night be­fore reach­ing its cli­max at Awa­puni on Satur­day. As well as com­pet­i­tive rac­ing there’s some com­pet­i­tive cos­tum­ing. Fash­ion in the Field is al­most as im­por­tant as the race card and will be con­tested in eight clas­si­fi­ca­tions.

And while peo­ple are mov­ing out at Easter, the cast and en­sem­ble of Grease are mov­ing in. The Manawatu¯ Theatre So­ci­ety’s hit mu­si­cal opens on Fri­day week and Easter is the time when fi­nal re­hearsals in the Re­gent be­gin.

It’s 40 years since Grease, the movie, star­ring Olivia New­ton-John and John Tra­volta, and MTS is pre­sent­ing the Hol­ly­wood ver­sion of the ground-break­ing mu­si­cal. Ge­or­gia Berg­er­son and Tay­lor El­lis will make a fine Sandy and Danny and watch out for Eli­jah Gra­ham as Johnny Casino.

Grease is a show for all ages. While it’s set in the 1950s, its mu­sic, themes, re­la­tion­ships, hair­dos and what young peo­ple get up to tran­scend time and place.

For all of us Easter is the fi­nal ex­tended hol­i­day be­fore win­ter. Many peo­ple will leave to­mor­row night on a trip away to the beach or bach while oth­ers will en­joy time at home. It’s a fam­ily oc­ca­sion.

For our the­atri­cal, artis­tic com­mu­nity it’s a break be­fore se­ri­ous plan­ning and re­hearsals be­gin for a num­ber of mid-year cel­e­bra­tions. The an­nual Manawatu¯ Jazz Fes­ti­val is held over late May/early June, jazz or­gan­ist Michel Benebig will give a mem­o­rable one-off per­for­mance at The Globe, AMT’s Lit­tle Shop of Hor­rors opens in mid May and the 20th an­niver­sary of the beau­ti­fully re­stored Re­gent on Broad­way kicks off with an event not to be missed.

Michael Hous­toun and

Guests opens the fes­ti­val pro­gramme with an ex­quis­ite evening of clas­si­cal mu­sic while con­certs by the Manawatu¯ Sin­fo­nia, Danny and the Di­vas and Vi­valdi’s fa­mous Four

Sea­sons fol­low in quick suc­ces­sion.

En­joy Easter and find time for a host of won­der­ful events to come.

Frenchy loves pink. Asa colour­ful char­ac­ter from the mu­si­cal Grease Frenchy (Frankie Curd) de­cides to die her hair pink with the help of Spec­tra stylist Amelia Lon­don.

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