50 Golden Years of Musicals: Extraordinary Cast Announced
Published: 28th Feb 2023
A stellar line-up of New Zealand’s finest stage performers will join global phenomenon Paul Potts on 50 GOLDEN YEARS OF MUSICALS – an extraordinary concert spectacular that celebrates the musical journey of New Zealand’s first couple of entertainment Stewart & Tricia Macpherson.
From Paul’s thrilling Nessun Dorma through to Don’t Cry for Me Argentina from Evita and Time Warp from Rocky Horror, this event features all biggest showstoppers from the world’s biggest musicals.
Joining Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts on stage are some of New Zealand’s most experienced stage performers including one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s favourite leading ladies, Delia Hannah.
For more than 35 years Delia has performed professionally in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the UK -- best known for her portrayal of Grizabella in Cats in Australasia, along with lead roles in many other shows, such as Fantine in Les Miserables (10th Anniversary Production Australia New Zealand), Eva Peron in Evita, Florence Vassey in Chess, Rose Vibert in Aspects of Love, Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, Miss Santiago in The Buddy Holly Story, The Baker’s Wife in In To The Woods (Auckland Theatre Company), Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia!, and The Bird Lady in Mary Poppins (Disney Australia) and many more.
As well as receiving several nominations in Australia for the Green Room, Mo and Helpmann Awards, Delia was awarded a Variety Club Award and a Sydney Critics Circle Award for ‘Best Actress In A Musical’, for her portrayal of of Mrs Johnston in Blood Brothers.
Hailing from Wellington, Matt Pike's career was launched by the legendary Harry M. Miller with his production of Jesus Christ Superstar then the Ascot Group’s record-breaking tour of Cats through Australia and New Zealand. At the end of that tour he was invited to perform Munkustrap for the 10 year anniversary cast of Cats in Hamburg and then Rum Tum Tugger for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Australian production of Cats. He has since made many musical appearances in NZ including crooning in Fly Me To The Moon at Downstage; bellowing in Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well at Circa; getting crucified again and again in Jesus Christ Superstar with both Wellington Musical Theatre and Showbiz Christchurch; and gyrating and wailing with the bombastic Zeppelin tribute: Whole Lotta Led. Matt relished playing the Engineer in Showbiz's NZ premiere of Miss Saigon; Starlight Express arena tour, Evita, Blood Brothers and Mamma Mia!
One of New Zealand’s most experienced stage and television artists, Nigel Godfrey, will narrate the unprecedented showbiz journey taken by the Macphersons, weaving stories of their life on the road through musicals performances and appearances from some of the world’s biggest entertainment personalities. Nigel’s association with the Macphersons has been a special one, highlighted by numerous tours of The Original Phantom of the Opera to Japan. As well as roles in favourites Anything Goes and My Fair Lady, Nigel has appeared many times television series Shortland Street, Power Rangers, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Hercules. He also appeared as W.C. Fields in the Peter Jackson remake of the Hollywood blockbuster King Kong.
Soprano Leanne Howell has recently returned from the West End, having been a lead vocalist and dancer in productions including Crazy for You, The Rat Pack: Live from Las Vegas, and City of Angels, as well as choirs for Britain’s Got Talent and at Wembley Stadium under the direction of Sir Elton John.
The cast will be led by musical director, Tom Rainey - an instrumentalist, arranger, composer, producer, and conductor. As a musician, Tom has performed with artists including Cher, Art Garfunkel, Julio Iglesias, the Beach Boys and David Gates, and is a regular contributor to many NZ music festivals, and has played on more than 40 albums. In recognition of his services to music and music education, in the 2020 NZ Queens Birthday honours Tom was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).
50 GOLDEN YEARS OF MUSICALS celebrates the unprecedented musical journey of New Zealand’s longest serving producers, Stewart and Tricia Macpherson, with Paul Potts representing the hundreds of international artists they have toured in their stellar careers.
The event that will visit 10 cities in April 2023, will feature the greatest songs from the greatest musicals including Blood Brothers, The Rocky Horror Show, Evita, Starlight Express, Flashdance, Million Dollar Quartet, American Idiot, Pirates of Penzance, Chicago, Jekyll & Hyde and The Original Phantom of the Opera.
Featuring a setlist from their catalogue of personal favourites, songs such as Time Warp from Rocky Horror, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from Evita, the classic Memory from Cats, All That Jazz from Chicago and the high-energy What A Feeling and Maniac from Flashdance … and many more will have audiences singing and re-living many memories.