The 80’s

Scroll below to view all of the shows NSMT has produced from the year 1980 – 1989. Click on the + to view production info and details about the show.

1989 - Sweet Charity

The Pumphouse
April 8th – April 22nd 1989

Director: John Antony
Musical Director: Margaret Hart
Choreographer: Kathy O’Meara

Synopsis:

Sweet Charity follows the romantic trials and tribulations of Charity Hope Valentine, “a girl who wanted to be loved.” Charity is a taxi dancer, a dance partner-for-hire at a seedy dance hall in New York City. Though the job may be decidedly undesirable, Charity’s hopeful romanticism and unfailing optimism lift her out of her circumstances and help her reach for a life beyond. In the past, she’s been strung along and hung out to dry by a series of bad relationships and lousier men. When she meets Oscar, a neurotic, shy actuary seemingly from another world, will she finally find true love at last? One of the most famous shows by legendary director/choreographer Bob Fosse and with a laugh-a-minute script by the incomparable Neil Simon, every audience is destined to fall in love with Charity’s limitless spirit, as she lives life “hopefully ever after.”

1989 - Spotlight on Broadway

The Pumphouse
July 15th – July 29th 1989

Director: Rhonda Daverne
Musical Director: Graham McBain
Choreographer: Rhonda Daverne

Synopsis:

 

1989 - Tarantara! Tarantara!

The Pumphouse
November 1st – November 11th 1989

Director: Bill O’Meara
Musical Director: Kerry Priestley
Choreographer: Diane Field

Synopsis:

1988 - Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance II

 

 

1988 - Jesus Christ Superstar

The Pumphouse
April 16th – April 30th 1988 

Director – Rhonda Daverne
Musical Director – Graham McBain
Choreographer – Rhonda Daverne

Synopsis:

Jesus Christ Superstar tells the story of biblical Jesus in the final days leading up to his crucifixion. A rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, the musical has no spoken dialogue and is sometimes considered a modern rock-opera. Loosely based on the Gospels, Superstar focuses on the personal conflicts between Jesus, his disciples, the people of Israel, and the leadership of Rome. Special attention is played to the relationship between Judas Iscariot and Jesus, as well as Jesus’ relationship with Mary Magdalene. The musical is unique among biblical retellings in that it focuses on both Judas’ struggle making the decision to betray Jesus and Jesus’ human psychology, fear, and anger in understanding and accepting his role as both leader and martyr. The show is a product of its era, permeated with 1970’s rock, gospel, folk and funk themes, modern language and colloquialisms, and high-energy dance numbers.

1988 - Little Mary Sunshine

The Pumphouse
July 16th – July 30th 1988

Director: Bill O’Meara
Musical Director: Kerry Priestley
Choreographer: Diane Field

Synopsis:

The show takes place at the Colorado Inn, owned by Little Mary Sunshine (Mary Potts), in the early 20th century. Chief Brown Bear, Mary’s foster father, has decided to take her advice and sue the U.S. government in order to regain his tribal land. Meanwhile the U.S. Forest Rangers are on the hunt for a group of marauding Indians, led by Yellow Foot. After Mary is captured and tied to a tree by Yellow Feather, Captain Jim saves her and the two fall in love. Further, the United States government rules in Brown Bear’s favour and he gets his land back.

 

1988 - Footrot Flats

The Pumphouse
October 1st – October 15th 1988

Director: Kevin Owen
Musical Director: Graham McBain
Choreographer: Kathy O’Meara

Synopsis:

1988 - Nothing to do with Rodney

NSMT Clubrooms (Formerly NSOS)
May 15th – May 29th 1988

Director: Rob Wellington & Linda McKinlay
Musical Director: Margaret Lange

Synopsis:

1987 - Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

North Shore ATI
March 21st – April 4th 1987

Director: John Antony
Musical Director: Joe Isbister
Choreographer: Kathy O’Meara

Synopsis:

Set in the rough-and-tumble backwoods of Oregon in the 1850s, where every man still took for himself, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a delightful story about creating civilization in the wilderness. When Milly married handsome backwoodsman, Adam, she had no idea she would be responsible for taking care of his six younger brothers as well. Milly quickly whips her rowdy brothers-in-law into shape, and shows them how they can court and win beautiful mates of their own. When Adam convinces his brothers to kidnap the girls they like the way the sabine women were kidnapped, however, Milly’s plans go dreadfully awry. Bursting with boisterous energy, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers features daredevil dancing, rambunctious fun, and heartfelt romance with a score including the soaring “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” the hilarious “Bless Her Beautiful Hide,” and the totally absurd “Sobbin’ Women.”

 

1987 - Chicago

The Pumphouse
July 18th – August 1st 1987

Director: Bill O’Meara
Musical Director: Graham McBain
Choreographer: Rhonda Daverne

Synopsis:

Broadway’s longest-running American musical, Chicago is a dazzling and satirical look at fame, justice, and the media machine. Set in 1920s Chicago and based on real-life murders and trials, Chicago follows Roxie Hart, a wannabe vaudevillian star who murders her lover and is arrested, despite her attempts to convince her pushover husband, Amos, to lie for her. In the Cook County Jail, Roxie meets her hero, the famed double-murderess and nightclub performer Velma Kelly. When both acquire the same lawyer, the greedy and lustful superstar, Billy Flynn, tensions come to a head as they vie for the spotlight– though instead of onstage, they’re mugging for the flashbulb of the newspaper reporters. With catchy, sexy music and timeless lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and a funny, intelligent, and utterly engaging book by Kander and Bob Fosse, Chicago is a musical spectacular that is as addictive as gossip rags and as unforgettable as any trial of the century.

 

1987 - Starting Here, Starting Now

Director:
Musical Director:
Choreographer:

Synopsis:

Starting Here, Starting Now’ is a musical revue using the songs of Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire. The revue takes a cast of three through the maze of modern relationships with its heart firmly on its sleeve. As with all of Maltby and Shire’s work, each song is an impeccably crafted story, original, engaging, bursting with character, and showcasing the versatility and charisma of its performer. While the show runs continuously from song to song without dialogue, there are subtle mini-plots provided by the authors to maintain a feeling of forward motion throughout the evening. *Cast members use their own names.

 

1987 - Cinderella

The Pumphouse
November 7th – November 21st 1987

Director: Peter Segrove
Musical Director: Margaret Hart & Val Tester
Choreographer: Kathy O’Meara

Synopsis:

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s enchanting adaptation of the timeless fairytale, Cinderella, was their only musical originally composed for television. When the television program, starring Julie Andrews as Cinderella, first aired in 1957, it was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium at that time. Since then, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella has continued to charm audiences in productions on stage and on television. Based upon the classic fairy tale, and particularly the French version Cendrillon ou la Petite Pantoufle de Verre, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s adaptation brings new life to the story of a young woman forced into servitude who dreams of – and achieves – a better life. Cinderella features some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago.”

 

1986 - Camelot

North Shore ATI
April 12th – April 26th 1986

Director: John Antony
Musical Director: Margaret Hart
Choreographer: Kathy O’Meara

Synopsis:

Young King Arthur is to be wed to the beautiful Lady Guinevere. Both parties are having second thoughts. A chance meeting in the forest, where they have both sought refuge reassures them. Merlyn the Magician, Arthur’s friend and mentor vanishes from Camelot. Sir Lancelot, a handsome young French knight is drawn to Camelot by news of Arthur’s celebrated Round Table. His valour and honesty quickly wins the admiration of the King, and unfortunately for all involved, that of the Queen. Lancelot realises that he must leave Camelot. Meanwhile, Mordred the wicked illegitimate son of Arthur appears, and attempts to embarrass the king into abdication. He enlists the help of his evil sorceress aunt, Morgan Le Fey, who succeeds in luring Arthur from Camelot. Will the valiant Sir Lancelot return to save Camelot? And where is Merlyn? The answers to these and many other questions will soon be revealed.

1986 - Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance

NSMT Clubrooms (Formerly NSOS)
May 14th – May 18th 1986

Director: Scott Blanks

Synopsis:

GOTTA SING, GOTTA DANCE is a collaboration of young talent, no stars – just hard workers. The music is drawn from contemporary British and American musicals including CHESS, STARLIGHT EXPRESS, DREAMGIRLS, A CHORUS LINE, THE WIZ, CHICAGO, BUGSY MALONE, THE ACT and the movie musical FAME. With the exception of CHICAGO none of these shows has been performed in its entirety in New Zealand.

THE BENOITS (pronounced Ben-wah) NIGHTCLUB – an upmarket cabaret club with only ‘class’ acts.  Its proprietor is Curtis Benoit, a man who prides himself on being able to find and develop, talent. He auditions them, trains them and presents them in performance at his club. For young would-be singers and dancers ‘Benoits’ is the stepping stone to success.

1986 - Riddigore

The Pumphouse
July 19th – August 7th 1986

Director: Peter Segrove
Musical Director: Val Tester & Margaret Lange
Choreographer: Diane Field

Synopsis:

Although Ruddigore’s 1887 premiere did not enjoy the same success as its predecessor, The Mikado (1885), it is now regarded as one of the gems of the Gilbert and Sullivan canon. A satirical take on the Victorian Melodrama genre, Ruddigore’s zany plot has it all–ghosts, witches, curses, disguises, and even a wicked villain who tries to make off with the fair maiden. All of the Baronets of the locale of Ruddigore are under a terrible curse enacted by a witch long ago–each of the successive Baronets must commit some kind of crime every single day, or else they will die in terrible agony. Robin Oakapple has been living as a farmer for years, working up the courage to ask the beautiful village maiden Rose Maybud for her hand, but he is hiding a secret–he is actually Sir Ruthven, the Baronet of Ruddigore, and has been hiding in disguise while his younger brother Despard assumed the title and the curse. Betrayed by his foster-brother Richard, Robin is discovered and must take on the responsibility of committing a crime every day in order to appease the curse and the ghosts of all his ancestors past, who are none too happy with his attempt to shirk his title. Robin must somehow find a way to lead the honest life he loves – but how?

 

1986 - Bridie
1986 - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

The Pumphouse
October 11th – October 18th 1986

Director: Rhonda Daverne
Musical Director: Graham McBain
Choreographer: Rhonda Daverne

Synopsis:

The biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes alive in the musical retelling. Joseph — the favorite son of Jacob — is blessed with vivid dreams that foretell the future. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph endures a series of adventures which challenge him to his core. Soon he finds himself belonging to Potiphar, whose wife makes advances toward Joseph and ultimately land him behind bars. However, news of Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams sparks the interest of the hilariously Elvis-like Pharaoh. Soon, Joseph is out of jail and well on his way to second-in-command. Eventually Joseph’s brothers find themselves unknowingly groveling at the feet of the brother they betrayed. As they fail to even recognise him, Joseph tests their integrity. He ultimately reveals himself and the brothers are reconciled. A truly timeless Old Testament tale, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is set to a multitude of musical genres, spanning from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock and roll.

1985 - Man of La Mancha

The Pumphouse
April 14th – May 4th 1985

Director: John Antony
Musical Director: Margaret Hart
Choreographer: Kathy O’Meara

Synopsis:

Man of La Mancha, based on Cervantes’ epic 17th century novel Don Quixote, is a remarkable, poignant, moving musical that was one of the first shows to musicalize a piece of historical literature. Set in the context of the Spanish Inquisition, Man of La Mancha is presented as a play-within-a-play. We encounter historical author Miguel de Cervantes in prison, awaiting trial by the Inquisition. When his fellow prisoners try to take Cervantes’ belongings from him, including his manuscript. Cervantes proposes a trial in which he proves the merit of the manuscript through a re-enactment, enlisting his fellow prisoners as characters in his play. Together they tell the story of the aged Alonso Quijana who believes himself to be a knight errant, names himself Don Quixote and pursues an obsessive quest to attain an impossible dream. Against all odds, Quixote and his trusty squire Sancho Panza take to the road in a quest for chivalry and to seek out the good and innocent in a world filled with darkness and despair. Through the story, all the prisoners – at least for a moment – are transformed. The mad Don Quixote may think a windmill to be a giant and a tavern to be a castle, but along the way he also transforms a wretched woman into a beautiful lady – and proves that an old man’s belief can truly make him a knight. Man of La Mancha features such stirring songs as “Dulcinea” and the now-famous standard, “Quest” – more famously known as “The Impossible Dream.”

1985 - Oliver

North Shore ATI
July 27th – August 10th 1985

Director: Bill O’Meara
Musical Director: Tim Jenkinson
Choreographer: Ellen Cameron

Synopsis:

Bringing Charles Dickens’ beloved novel to life, Lionel Bart’s Oliver! takes audiences on a wild adventure through Victorian England. Join young, orphaned Oliver Twist as he navigates the London’s underworld of theft and violence, searching for a home, a family, and – most importantly – for love. When Oliver is picked up on the street by a boy named the Artful Dodger, he is welcomed into a gang of child pickpockets led by the conniving, but charismatic, Fagin. When Oliver is falsely accused of a theft he didn’t commit, he is rescued by a kind and wealthy gentleman, to the dismay of Fagin’s violent sidekick, Bill Sykes. Caught in the middle is the warm-hearted Nancy, who is trapped under Bill’s thumb, but desperate to help Oliver, with tragic results. With spirited, timeless songs like “As Long as He Needs Me,” “Food, Glorious Food,” and “Where is Love,” Oliver! is a musical classic.

 

1985 - Divorce Me, Darling

The Pumphouse
November 9th – November 23rd 1985

Director: John Fieldsend
Musical Director: Tim Jenkinson
Choreographer: John Fieldsend

Synopsis:

The charming young pupils of Mme Dubonnet’s Finishing School who married their respective “boyfriends” now come together again after ten years of marriage at the Hotel Du Paradis in Nice. But the initial euphoria of married life has worn off and as they sing and dance events are misconstrued and partners change until everyone wants a divorce. The situation is finally taken in hand by Mme Dubonnet and her long lost husband and when they become re-united this sets the trend, nature doing the rest. As the show ends the girls announce that there are several MORE HAPPY EVENTS PENDING.

 

1985 - Daze and Knights

NSMT Clubrooms (Formerly NSOS

Director: Rob Wellington
Musical Director: Campbell Downie
Choreographer: Ellen Cameron

Synopsis:

1984 - Fiddler on the Roof

North Shore ATI
March 31st – April 14th 1984

Director: Bill O’Meara
Musical Director: Joe Isbister
Choreographer: Doreen O’Leary

Synopsis:

Based on Sholom Aleichem’s Tevye and his Daughters, Fiddler on the Roof is the beloved story of the small, tradition-steeped town of Anatevka, Russia, where Jews and Russians live in delicate balance. During the course of the show, the time honoured traditions of Anatevka are both embraced and challenged by Tevye and his colourful community, as they witness his daughters, Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava, grow up and fall in love in a time of extraordinary change. Fiddler on the Roof’s Broadway premier became the longest-running Broadway musical in history, a title it maintained for almost ten years. It is a story that captures the essential human longings for love, community, success, freedom, family, and meaning. Fiddler features such iconic songs as the beautiful “Sunrise, Sunset,” the boisterous “If I Were a Rich Man”, and the classic “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.”

 

1984 - The Boyfriend

The Pumphouse
July 25th – August 4th 1984

Director: John Fieldsend
Musical Director: Judy O’Callahan
Choreographer: John Fieldsend

Synopsis:

It’s Carnival time on the French Riviera, and the “perfect young ladies” of Madame Dubonnet’s Finishing School are all a-flutter with excitement at the opportunity to dress in beautiful frocks, dance the Charleston, and acquire that most prized of possessions — a Boy Friend. Sweet young heiress Polly Browne, whose stern father forbids her to encourage men out of fear that they are after her money, is embarrassed to admit her lack of suitors to her friends, and must hide her shame by sending herself love notes. Enter Tony, a kind, romantic, handsome — messenger boy! It is love at first sight for the darling duo, and Polly, pretending to be Madame Dubonnet’s secretary, enjoys for the first time a romance of equals. Confusion arises when Polly’s father, Percival Browne, arrives in Nice, only to discover in Madame Dubonnet a former flame, and rich old Lord and Lady Brockhurst appear in pursuit of Tony, leading everyone to assume he must be a thief. Will saucy French maid Hortense tell Polly’s secret? Will madcap Maisie choose between her four devoted swains – or keep them all on a string? Will frisky Lord Brockhurst successfully evade his wife? Will Pierrette get her Pierrot? There’s a happy ending for everyone in The Boy Friend, Sandy Wilson’s popular spoof of 1920s’s theatrical, a light-hearted period romp celebrating lovers new and reunited, which features high-energy musical numbers, mistaken identities, plenty of ‘20s slang, and a flirtatious crowd of boys and girls.

1984 - The Gondoliers

The Pumphouse
October 31st – November 10th 1984

Director: Kath Pring
Musical Director: Margaret Hart
Choreographer: Kathy O’Meara

Synopsis:

The twelfth collaboration between composer Arthur Sullivan and librettist W.S. Gilbert, The Gondoliers (or The King of Barataria) tells the story of two charming Venetian gondoliers, Giuseppe and Marco, who are informed that due to an error of identity when they were young boys, one of them is the heir to the throne of Barataria. They are delighted with the situation and agree to share the responsibilities of governing their new kingdom until it can be ascertained which of them is which, but matters are complicated when the Duke and Duchess of Plaza Toro reveal that their beautiful daughter, Casilda, was married to the future king as an infant. The problem? Giuseppe and Marco are both newly married to the contadinas Tessa and Gianetta, and Casilda is in love with her father’s attendant, Luiz. Since its premiere in 1889, The Gondoliers has delighted audiences with its memorable score by Sullivan, and its political satire, cleverly tucked into Gilbert’s witty plotline.

 

1984 - And All That Jazz

The Pumphouse

Director: Rhonda Daverne
Musical Director: Graham McBain

Synopsis:

1983 - You Must Remember This
1983 - The Sound Of Music

 

North Shore ATI
April 16th – April 30th 1983

Director: Bill O’Meara
Musical Director: Joe Ibister
Choreographer: John Fieldsend

Synopsis:

The final collaboration between Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II, The Sound of Music, has become a play beloved around the world. Based on the true story of the Von Trapp Family Singers, this play captures a personal tale of growth and hope amidst the horrors of World War II. The Sound of Music tells the tale of young postulant Maria Rainer, whose free spirit has trouble fitting into the rules and regulations of Nonnberg Abbey. Commissioned by the Mother Abbess to serve as the governess for seven motherless children, Maria transforms the Von Trapp family home from a place of dour rules and regulations to one filled with joy, with laughter, and with music. In the process, Maria wins the hearts of all seven children–and their widower father, Captain Von Trapp. With the Mother Abbess’ blessing, and to the children’s delight, Maria follows her heart, and Maria and the Captain marry. Upon returning home from their honeymoon, Maria and the Captain learn that their beloved Austria has been taken over by the Nazis, and the retired Captain is asked to report for immediate service in the Nazi Navy. When the Nazis show up at their door to take Captain Von Trapp away, it is a family singing engagement (wily navigated by their friend Max) that buys the family time to make their narrow escape. Their Austrian convictions compel Maria, the Captain, and the children to flee over the mountains of Switzerland to safety, taking the words of the Mother Abbess to heart: “Climb Every Mountain… till you find your dream.”

 

1983 - 20th Anniversary Concert

NSMT Clubrooms (Formerly NSOS)
July 9th 1983

Director: John Antony
Musical Director: Margaret Hart

Synopsis:

Songs from North Shore Operatic Society’s productions from 1963 to 1983

 

1983 - Godspell

The Pumphouse
July 27th – August 6th 1983

Director: Rhonda Daverne
Musical Director: Graham McBain
Choreographer: Rhonda Daverne

Synopsis:

Godspell, a musical based on the Gospel according to St Matthew; music and lyrics written by Stephen Schwartz, was sold out nightly in London, New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Montreal, Chicago and other great cities. Though SOUL and LOVE are its most contentious four-letter words and the characters keep their clothes on, it remains one of the biggest musical hits of all time. It is a joyful explosion and few who see it fail to be turned on by its spell of youthful, natural vitality and warm glow of love. Its religious theme is set in a framework of jubilant folk and rock music and its air of carnival innocence and sheer joy enthral young and old alike.

 

1983 - The Mikado

The Pumphouse
November 2nd – November 19th 1983

Director: Peter Segrove
Musical Director: Margaret Lange
Chorus Mistress: Margaret Hart
Choreographer: Shelley Crouch

Synopsis:

Since its premiere in 1885 at the Savoy Theatre in London, The Mikado (or The Town of Titipu) has become one of the most-performed pieces of musical theatre in history. As with many of Gilbert and Sullivan’s productions, the show satirizes aspects of Victorian Britain’s politics and aristocracy; in The Mikado, however, the duo cleverly cloaked these criticisms behind a charming story set not in Britain, but in exotic Japan. Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado (the Japanese emperor), has fled in disguise to avoid marrying a much older suitor, and to find and marry his own beloved, the beautiful Yum-Yum. Yum-Yum, however, is the ward of Ko-Ko, the lord high executioner, and has become betrothed to him against her will. In the meantime, Ko-Ko finds his job difficult to carry out as the Mikado puts pressure on him to fulfil his quota of killings, but the executioner realizes he is too soft-hearted to kill anyone. His solution is to trade a month of marriage to Yum-Yum for Nanki-Poo’s life (though he only pretends to kill him), but, of course, the plan backfires as Ko-Ko finds himself subject to capital punishment for allegedly killing the Mikado’s son. As usual in Gilbert’s imaginative plots, the tangled web unravels, and everyone lives happily ever after. This complex satire is characterized by the clever wordplay, memorable tunes, and endearing characters that have allowed Gilbert and Sullivan’s popularity with audiences to endure for well over a century.

 

1982 - Guys and Dolls

The Pumphouse
March 24th – April 3rd 1982

Auckland Grammar Centennial Theatre
July 2nd – July 9th 1982

Director: John Antony
Musical Director: Judy O’Callahan
Choreographer: Rhonda Daverne

Synopsis:

Guys and Dolls is a musical romantic comedy involving the unlikeliest of Manhattan pairings: a high-rolling gambler and a puritanical missionary, a showgirl dreaming of the straight-and-narrow and a crap game manager who is anything but. Set in the Manhattan of Damon Runyon’s short stories, Guys and Dolls tells of con-man Nathan Detroit’s efforts to find new life for his illegal, but notorious, crap game. When their trusty venue is found out by the police, Nathan has to find a new home for his crap game quickly – but he doesn’t have the dough to secure the one location he finds. Enter Sky Masterson, a high-rolling gambler willing to take on any honest bet with a high enough reward attached. Nathan bets Sky that he can’t take the “doll” of Nathan’s choosing to Havana, Cuba, with him on a date. When Sky agrees to the bet, Nathan chooses uptight Evangelist Sergeant Sarah Brown, head of Broadway’s Save-a-Soul Mission. Sky thinks he’s been duped, but he’s in for even more of a surprise when his efforts to woo Sarah are so successful that he falls in love with her himself! Guys and Dolls takes us from bustle of Times Square to the dance clubs of Havana to the sewers of New York City as it demonstrates the great lengths to which a guy will go when he truly falls in love with a “doll.” Guys and Dolls features some of Frank Loesser’s most memorable tunes, including the hilarious “Adelaide’s Lament,” the romantic “I’ve Never Been in Love Before,” the exuberant “If I Were a Bell,” and the classic “Luck Be a Lady.”

 

1982 - The Yeoman of the Guard

The Pumphouse
October 6th – October 16th 1982

Director: Peter Segrove
Musical Director: Margaret Lange
Choreographer: Kathy O’Meara

Synopsis:

The Yeomen of the Guard, or The Merryman and His Maid is Gilbert and Sullivan’s sparkling comic opera set in Shakespearean times during the reign of King Henry VIII. It is the darkest and most emotionally engaging of the Savoy Operas. The show takes place in the Tower of London where the gentleman Colonel Fairfax is wrongly accused of sorcery and sentenced to death within the hour. Fairfax hatches a plan to avoid letting his estate fall into the hands of his scheming cousin (incidentally, his accuser) by secretly marrying Elsie Maynard, a strolling singer. She agrees to be blindfolded during the ceremony and expects to be a wealthy widow upon Fairfax’s imminent demise, leaving her free to marry her lover, the jester Jack Point. However, Fairfax miraculously escapes his fate and chaos ensues. Following his escape, Fairfax woos Elsie, and after a number of plot complications are resolved, she falls in love with him.

 

1981 - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

The Pumphouse
March 25th – April 4th 1981

Director: Airdrie Thomas
Musical Director: Judy O’Callahan
Choreographer: Rhonda Daverne

Synopsis:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a fast-paced farce that promises to have audiences rolling on the floor. Taking straight from the roots of comedy, Forum combines the ancient comedies of Plautus with a vaudevillian delivery. Pseudolus schemes to win the heart of the beautiful virgin, Phelia, for his young master, Hero. In exchange, Hero will grant Pseudolus his freedom once and for all. However, things are never as easy as they seem. Chaos ensues with hair-brained schemes, cases of mistaken identity, slamming doors and convoluted plot twists. One of the funniest musicals ever written, Forum promises: “Something for everyone: a comedy tonight!”

 

1981- Pink Champagne

North Shore Teachers College
July 11th – July 25th 1981

Director: John Fieldsend
Musical Director: Joe Ibister
Choreographer: Rhonda Daverne

Synopsis:

“Die Fledermaus”, which is probably the best known of Johann Strauss’s light operas, was specially adapted for presentation by amateur operatic societies in Britain. The name of the adaptation was changed to “PINK CHAMPAGNE” to avoid confusion with the original opera, the new title being taken from Prince Orlovsky’s pink champagne ball which is an essential part of the show. The revision has been confined to making the action a little clearer and more consecutive, and to provide better acting parts than exist in the original, which of course was written as a vehicle for the stars of the Vienna Opera, not many of whom were noted for their dramatic ability. It should be noted that Strauss originally wrote the part of Orlovsky for a contralto. All the famous musical numbers have been retained in the score but have been simplified with chorus parts added where feasible. From the operatic society’s point of view one of the principal shortcomings of “Die Fledermaus” has always been the small amount of chorus work.

1981 - Lolanthe

The Pumphouse
October 7th – October 17th 1981

Director: Bill O’Meara
Musical Director: Val Hungerford
Choreographer: Kathy O’Meara

Synopsis:

Since its sparkling 1882 premiere at London’s new Savoy Theatre (the first to be fitted with electric lights, making all manner of magical effects possible), the fantastical satire Iolanthe has delighted audiences with its clever combination of romance, humour, political satire, and the memorable musical numbers that made Gilbert and Sullivan household names. The titular character Iolanthe is a fairy who has committed a capital offense by marrying a mortal; rather than being killed, she was instead banished from the fairy kingdom, never to see her husband again. Twenty-five years later, at the start of the show, the fairies still miss Iolanthe deeply and convince the Fairy Queen to allow her to return. Iolanthe reveals that she bore her mortal husband a son, Strephon, who is a fairy down to the waist but has mortal legs. Strephon also happens to have fallen in love with the Lord Chancellor’s beautiful and much sought-after ward, Phyllis, who loves him in return but does not know of his mixed lineage. Strephon enlists his mother and the rest of the fairies to help him win his lover’s hand by convincing the Lord Chancellor (who loves Phyllis himself) and the government to allow them to marry. Seeing Strephon in the company of a young woman (fairies do not age, and so Iolanthe looks to be a girl of seventeen), the Peers try to convince Phyllis that her love is being unfaithful, and as punishment, the fairies make Strephon a member of Parliament, magically able to pass any bill he wants. In the meantime, the fairies all fall in love with members of the House of Peers, and the Fairy Queen finds herself with a political and moral mess on her hands. In true Gilbert and Sullivan fashion, the tangled plot unravels and all ends well. This beloved classic is still a timeless favourite of light opera companies, schools, and concert stages all over the world.

 

1980 - Can Can

North Shore Teachers College
April 19th – May 3rd 1980

Director: Airdrie Thomas & Robert Alderton
Musical Director: David Britten
Choreographer: Rhonda Daverne

Synopsis:

Set in the year 1893, Can-Can tells the tale of Paris dance hall owner, La Mome Pastache, and her battle with a self-righteous judge, Aristide, who is determined to shut her business down. The sexy Can-Can dance has become popular and Judge Aristide is determined to stop it. When Judge Aristide investigates the Bal du Paradis, La Mome Pastache seduces him and the two eventually fall in love. By the time her case comes to trial, Aristide has had a change of heart and works to win her acquittal.

 

1980 - The Pirates of Penzance

The Pumphouse
July 9th – July 19th 1980

Director: Bill O’Meara
Musical Director: David Britten
Choreographer: Val Hungerford

Synopsis:

Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular show, The Pirates of Penzance, is a rollicking, delightfully funny tale of a band of soft-tempered pirates. Mistakenly apprenticed to a pirate (instead of a pilot) by his nursemaid Ruth at the age of eight, the handsome Frederic is now twenty-one and, though quite fond of the group of joyous and fun-loving pirates, chooses to abandon his profession and “lead a blameless life henceforth,” dedicating himself instead to their eradication. Shortly after leaving them, he encounters a gaggle of beautiful maidens (one of whom, Mabel, steals his heart) and their father, the eccentric Major-General. The whole group has a run-in with the pirates themselves before escaping on the false premise that the Major-General is an orphan — a fact these tender-hearted pirates simply cannot help but take into account, given the fact that the majority of them are orphans themselves and “know what it’s like.” Just as Frederic is ready to lead a band of lily-livered policemen to take out the Pirate King and his men, a secret is uncovered that will change his fate forever, but, naturally, all comes out right in the end. Beloved since its premiere in 1879, The Pirates of Penzance (or The Slave of Duty) is a delightful farce of a classic that is fun for all ages.

 

 

1980 - Music Hall

The Pumphouse
September 24th – October 4th 1980

Director: John Antony
Research: Peter Segrove & Margaret Hart

Synopsis: