Rotorua Weekender - 2021-10-15


Show for all ages aims to bring music and uplift spirits


Shauni James

Local performers will bring their talents together to put on a show for the community, aiming to lift spirits during a hard and uncertain time. All Together Now! — A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre is an opportunity for schools and theatres around the world to locally produce and perform an exclusive musical revue. It will feature songs from Musical Theatre International’s beloved shows, with all performances around the world happening over a four-day period — November 12 to 15. This will mean everyone is essentially performing at the same time. And Rotorua’s Lakes Performing Arts Centre decided to get in on the action. The revue features 15 musical performances including songs from Les Miserables, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, Jeykl & Hyde, Sister Act, Frozen and many more. Natasha Benfell, director and head of drama department for Lakes Performing Arts Centre, says this event was originally planned as a black tie fundraising event for the centre’s drama department, which is always in need of financial support to stage its junior productions. However, after this last lockdown the centre sat down and just thought people need spirit lifting right now, she says. “People need hope and something that will make them smile even if it is only for a few hours, and it should be affordable. We felt that in the climate we are in, this was the right choice to make. So we have set our prices to be very family-friendly.” Natasha says this was in large due to the support from Rotorua Little Theatre who, like LPAC, have been tireless in their efforts to keep up morale in the performing arts sector. She says the show’s performers are all local with some being the centre’s students and past junior theatre production cast. “You will be surprised who you will see on stage. It’s all local talent and some very familiar faces. “It’s great to showcase local talent from different organisations, and some of the older students started out in junior theatre shows, so it’s nice to see how far they have come.” She says it is a great show for all ages, and that it could be a great one for grandparents to bring their grandchildren to.


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