Centrestage Theatre Company co-manager, Stephanie McKellar says they are excited and relieved to be back in business after Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns meant they were closed for over eight, “long, worrisome” months.
Its Youth Theatre members are busy rehearsing Hello Dolly. However, this doesn’t open until July.
“We needed to get shows back on stage and funds back in the bank as soon as possible, while being mindful of the ever-present threat of Covid-19 and its potential to derail a production,” Stephanie says.
The solution was created by Michael Sanders, who conceived a show that is entertaining, inexpensive to mount, fairly Covid impervious and easy to rehearse, as well as suitable for the entire family. This was then pitched to local talent to see who would like to be involved.
The result is the Roaring Twenties, which starts this week. It is a compilation of songs and music from the 1920s, which Stephanie says are still as entertaining in the 2020s.
The theatre promises a sophisticated yet fun revue with songs from both sides of the Atlantic, including Gershwin, Cole Porter, Noel Coward, and even Charlie Chaplin, as well as an entire section of music made famous by Al Jolson.
The cast, all local talent, range in age from early 20s to some in their 60s.
Stephanie says the theatre is very aware that some of the local community are still hesitant to venture out, and they wish to keep the theatre truly accessible to all – including the elderly or immuno-compromised.
Therefore, the first matinee performance of the Roaring Twenties on Sunday, June 5 at 2pm, will be vaccine mandated. All patrons attending this specific performance will be required to show their vaccine passes (it doesn’t matter if these have expired) and Centrestage Theatre hopes this may give confidence to people who would love to come along but have been nervous about going to an indoor event. Masks will be required at all performances unless eating or drinking.
“Audiences young and old alike will be tapping their toes to some of the tunes, reminiscing and encouraged to sing along with tunes they know by heart,” Stephanie says.
The Roaring Twenties is on at Centrestage Theatre from June 4-11. Bookings at www.centrestagetheatre.co.nz or phone 09 426 7282.