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Dynamite With A Laser Beam


It’s very exciting times ahead as the launch of Showbiz Christchurch 2019 season brings us three new fantastic productions.

 

Dynamite With A Laser Beam

 

We Will Rock You, the musical by Queen and Ben Elton (writer of the hugely popular television shows The Young Ones and Blackadder) launches the 2019 Saunders & Co Season, 29 March 2019 at the Isaac Theatre Royal (ITR). This futuristic comedy features more than 24 of Queen’s biggest hits, including: Killer Queen, We Are The Champions, Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, Somebody to Love, Don’t Stop Me Now, Under Pressure, Another One Bites The Dust, Bohemian Rhapsody, and of course, We Will Rock You.

Elton has confessed that he’s long been a Queen fan who fell in love with musical theatre at a young age. “Musical theatre as a genre has always fascinated me and I’ve always found it a great pleasure. I love pop music. I never had any training in the classics but I love popular music – and musical theatre is pop music. Gilbert and Sullivan, Gershwin, Cole Porter, Noel Coward – before radio and recording, pop music was delivered via the theatre.”

For the ultimate rock experience, there are new ‘Killer Queen Seats’ for selected performances of We Will Rock You. Only 100 of these exclusive seats are available. They are the best in the house and come with an autographed souvenir programme and show memorabilia!
Friday to Saturday 14-15 June 2019 is the exclusive weekend concert season of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber in Concert at the ITR. It features a superb on-stage orchestra, outstanding soloists and a large chorus. The fully staged and choreographed production features songs from Lloyd Webber shows, such as The Phantom of the Opera, CATS, Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, Evita and more. The show was devised by Lloyd Webber himself; artistic direction is by Ravil Atlas.

 

showbiz Chch

Following on from the hugely popular 2009 premier season of Miss Saigon comes the new production of Miss Saigon. Opening 27 September at the ITR, this epic sung-through pop musical is universal in its emotional power; it’s a tragedy of passion and beauty, and is described as one of the most daring theatrical spectacles of all time. As in the 2009 production, the 2019 Miss Saigon will reunite New Zealand’s foremost directing duo of Stephen Robertson and Richard Marrett.

Miss Saigon has been nominated for an impressive number of Olivier, Tony and Drama Desk Awards and comes from the creators of Les Misérables. The story is based on Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Set in the turmoil of the Vietnam War, American GI Chris and Vietnamese girl Kim fall in love and marry but are separated when Saigon falls. Alone, Kim gives birth to Chris’ son and waits faithfully for his return. Unable to contact Kim, Chris remarries and attempts to move on with his life. Circumstances see Chris return to Vietnam and he learns the truth, which brings about tragic consequences.

 

showbiz Chch

Tickets go on sale from 30 November 2018 and feature 10-30 percent savings on ‘Premium’ and ‘A Reserve’ tickets until 31 January 2019.
Recognising that choosing a date to attend a show which is months away can be tricky, Showbiz has introduced the new and fabulous FlexiTicket; this way ticket purchasers can take advantage of the generous 2019 Season discounts without having to commit to a performance date.

 


Flexi tickets can be purchased online and make an ideal gift for your mad-on-musicals mates!
Just visit www.ticketek.co.nz/showbiz/


 

A Powerful Pledge

A powerful pledge


The recipient of proceeds raised at an event to celebrate 125 years since women were given the vote has its own special connection with the suffrage movement.

 

A Powerful Pledge

 

The YWCA Christchurch, which is a part of a national and global mission that has been empowering and supporting women for more than 130 years, had Kate Sheppard on its management committee for several years during the 1880s.

Kate spearheaded the suffrage movement, which resulted in women being given the right to vote in New Zealand on 19 September 1893. A special event was held in Christchurch at the Isaac Theatre Royal on 13 September, with the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, as the keynote speaker. Proceeds from the ticketed event were given to YWCA Christchurch, to help support the organisation’s work.

The YWCA Christchurch provided emergency housing and support to vulnerable women who arrived during the early settler years, a legacy which continues today, with the charity still providing emergency and transitional housing to women in need and access to health and social services.

Many children stay with their mothers and the on-site team ensure they are well-fed and have transport to school. So far this year, 2500 meals have been provided to tāmariki staying at the YWCA and more than 200 breakfast and lunch making sessions have been held. Wrap-around support services include guest speakers and skill-building activities to ensure their success as they move on from the facility.

The charity is supported by local philanthropic funders and partners and is always on the lookout for volunteers – maybe even some future Kate Sheppards.

 



 

Isaac Theatre Royal

Unforgettable Experience: Isaac Theatre Royal

Many people aren’t aware that the Isaac Theatre Royal is available for hire for private performances, weddings, corporate events, functions and so on,” says Freya Alexander, Head of Commercial Events.

Isaac Theatre Royal
There are stunning spaces throughout the venue.

 

There are stunning spaces throughout the venue which lend themselves to a variety of events. The Ravenscar Dress Circle Foyer is perfect for a classic cocktail event, the plush lounge style Grand Circle Foyer lends itself beautifully for private dinners or a special birthday celebration and the purpose-built Gloucester Room can be transformed from a corporate meeting setting to an entertainment venue.

The auditorium seats up to 1,290 over three levels; ideal for a conference plenary, with the stage itself being the perfect setting for a welcome dinner, awards ceremony and even a wedding reception. Looking out to the majestic heritage dome ceiling, the opportunities are endless.

 


For bookings phone 03-260 5252 or email freya@itr.co.nz.


 

Showbiz Christchurch

Back to back Broadway hits: you’ll get a kick out of Showbiz Christchurch’s mid-winter concert Broadway Hitmen

Back to back hits from two of the biggest names on Broadway, Cole Porter and Andrew Lloyd Webber, will be performed at the Isaac Theatre Royal, with four performances from 13-15 July.

Showbiz Christchurch
Charlotte Taylor will feature as a soloist in Broadway Hitmen. Photo Wendy Riley

American born Porter wrote more than 800 songs across a five-decade career, conquering both Broadway and Hollywood. His soaring melodies, offset with urbane and witty lyrics, gave rise to his signature musical genre known as ‘the Cole Porter song’. Iconic musicals like Anything Goes, Can Can and Kiss Me Kate remain stage and screen classics, finding new audiences with every decade; his greatest songs covered by modern stars from Michael Bublé to Lady Gaga.
British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is arguably the best-known name in modern musical theatre. The first composer to have four musicals playing simultaneously on Broadway since 1953, he has written some of the world’s most loved and successful musicals including Evita, The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar and CATS.
Broadway Hitmen features favourites from these two musical theatre hit makers performed by an onstage orchestra under the baton of Ravil Atlas, along with soloists and a large chorus.
Amongst the soloists will be West End singer/actor Nic Kyle, who toured with Elaine Page in 2012; soprano Charlotte Taylor who has performed with NZOpera and Showbiz; jazz and blues artist Kate Taylor of the All Girl Big Band; and Kira Josephson who recently played Nessarose in the Showbiz production of Wicked.
Bookings through Ticketek, 0800 842 538, www.ticketek.co.nz/showbiz or www.showbiz.org.nz/broadway-hitmen.

Winter activities

Winter wonders: nine things guaranteed to get you out and loving Christchurch this winter

The temperatures have begun their downward descent and winter is on the seasonal horizon. But that’s no reason to hunker down at home.

Winter activities

Without the evolutionary need to hibernate like our animal ancestry, there’s still plenty to do and see to make the most of the chilly season. Here are our top picks!

Rise and shine

The sun rises a bit later in winter, giving you plenty of time to get up in the morning and make your way down to the beach. Just before the sun rises, the temperature drops and the sand freezes over, creating beautiful patterns. Definitely an Insta-worthy sight!

Café culture

The natural next step to ‘rise and shine’ is, of course, coffee! There’s a strong café culture in the city, so we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a favourite, but Black & White Coffee Cartel, Room 205, Villa 23 and 43 Degrees Café are just some of ours.

Star light star bright

When it comes to silver linings, the fact that winter is one of the best times of the year to observe the stars is just that, with frosty mornings creating stunning clear nights. The view from the Godley Head Reserve or the Sugarloaf is a beautiful spot to enjoy the night sky.

Let there be light

Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights is a mid-winter light extravaganza, which transforms the harbour into a magical space with lights, art, music and festivities on 29 June. The famous Street Party on London Street has a spectacular parade, buskers, performers, music, an outdoor street market with winter warmers, quality art and craft and an epic fireworks display.

Show-stopping spots

Christchurch is somewhat of an attention seeker when it comes to the social scene, in the very best of ways, of course. We are lucky to have theatrical options right here in the city. Top spots like the Isaac Theatre Royal and The Court Theatre will keep you warm this winter. Or try one of the many boutique cinemas in the city to enjoy the latest films.

‘Next-level’ fun

The highest point on Banks Peninsula, Mt Herbert often has a sprinkling of snow on top, while the view over Lyttelton Harbour and the Port Hills, with the Southern Alps standing proudly behind, is next-level fun, in the figurative and literal sense of the expression.

The ’coolest’ attraction

When it comes to getting your winter fix, there’s nothing cooler than the International Antarctic Centre. There’s nowhere else you get to survive an Antarctic Storm, bounce along on a Hagglund and hang out with Little Blue Penguins.

On thin ice

One of the coolest of winter sports, ice skating can be a whole lot of fun. Alpine Ice has been operating in Christchurch since 1985 and offers casual skating sessions, as well as holiday programmes.

Blooming beautiful

A neo-classical conservatory in the heart of the Botanic Gardens, Cunningham House is always full of colour – even in the winter.

American Express Openair Cinema

Events guide: Five things well worth leaving home for

The temperatures may have begun their downward descent, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to lock yourselves inside! We’ve gone in search of some of the hottest events around that will be sure to bring some warmth to your autumn.

American Express Openair Cinema
American Express Openair Cinema

Food, fun and flicks:

American Express is bringing the Openair Cinema festival of food, fun and flicks to Rauora Park from 15 March to 1 April.
There will be an array of alternative entertainment, live music and DJ performances before the latest and greatest feature films light up the big screen.
Better yet, you can bring along a ‘Doggy Date’! Pampered pooches will receive the VID treatment with a pawfect picnic platter of doggy delights and their own canine couch. Tickets start at $13 and are on-sale now at www.openaircinemas.co.nz.

Jump for charity:

Some of the country’s leading horse and pony riders are getting in behind the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation with the second annual Jump for Cancer Hagley charity event at North Hagley Park on 25 March.
St. Margaret’s College students will be collecting donations on behalf of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and food vendors will be selling everything from coffee and gelato to gourmet pizzas and potatoes.
General admission is free with VIP tickets available from www.eventbrite.co.nz. To find out more, head to the Jump for Cancer Hagley Facebook page.

Middle-aged man in lycra!

Following a sell-out premiere season across New Zealand, much-loved Kiwi actor Mark Hadlow remounts for a final ride into Christchurch in the acclaimed one man show, MAMIL (middle-aged man in Lycra), in all its lurid lycra glory for ‘Le Tour d’Isaac’, from Thursday 31 May to Saturday 2 June at the Isaac Theatre Royal.
Shining as the affable, yet uncomfortably relatable anti-hero in the one-man show, Hadlow commands the stage. With his energetic presence and childlike enthusiasm to the character, he breathes life into the cleverly crafted monologues to delight even the most stoic of MAMIL-phobes.

Colourful fun :

All the colour and fun of a carnival is coming to Cathedral Square on Saturday 24 February.
The popular Latino market is heading into the city from 4pm to 8pm on so you can enjoy a delicious culinary collection of Latin street food, live music, art and craft and, of course, the warmth of the local Latin community.
There will also be workshops, a dance floor and performances with Latin rhythms (including capoeira and samba do Brasil). So bring your most colourful clothing – and your dancing shoes – and prepare for a night of colourful fun.

A catwalk crusade:

Designers and celebrities are set to hit the catwalk on Thursday 12 April wearing the latest New Zealand fashion.
Guests at the annual M Factor Fashion Show will see collections from the likes of Annah Stretton, Augustine, Repertoire, Trelise Cooper and many more to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities New Zealand and Ronald McDonald House South Island.
Held at 7pm on Thursday 12 April at The Transitional Cathedral, tickets are available at ticketmaster.co.nz and are priced at $75 for VIP, $55 for General Admission and $20 for children and students.