Home' The Mirror Queenstown Lakes : September 19th 2012 Contents 10
lakes district news Newcomers to stage
Stage virgins: California Dreaming cast members Jason Medina, Violet Lees and
Photo: BROOKE GARDINER
What: California Dreaming
Where: Arrowtown Athenaeum
When: October 4 to 6, 8pm
Who: Cast of 16 locals
Tickets: $40, available from
Queenstown i-Site and Lakes
The Mirror has a double pass to
California Dreaming on Thursday,
October 4 to give away. Email
your contact details to mirror
@stl.co.nz with the subject line:
''California Dreaming giveaway''
to go in the draw.
By BROOKE GARDINER
Head-hunting people with no
stage experience to perform in
front of a live audience might
sound a little crazy, but that is
exactly what Queenstown enter-
tainer Margaret O'Hanlon has
done in casting her upcoming
California Dreaming will see
three stage virgins thrust into the
limelight after being shoulder-
tapped by the entertainment
This is the latest offering from
O'Hanlon, whose recent theatrical
offerings have included London
Calling and Rock'n'Roll Suicide.
O'Hanlon said: ''We have people
in the show who have never done
anything like this before.''
A throwaway comment by friend
Jason Medina saw him cast when
O'Hanlon could not find a
Mexican-looking man to play civil
rights activist Cesar Chavez.
''He said ''I could do it - I'm
Mexican'. So now he is doing it,''
she said laughing.
Medina said he had only agreed
on the proviso he would not have
to sing but he soon realised
singing was not optional and he
will sing in Spanish.
O'Hanlon even managed to con-
vince her hairdresser Violet Lees
to join the cast as civil rights
activist Angela Davis.
''She was doing my hair and I
asked her if she would be
It had been difficult finding people
to play race-specific roles within
Queenstown so she had to be a
little entrepreneurial, she said.
Tama Reedy, the other newcomer,
will play bikie gang member
With just two weeks of rehearsals
before opening night, O'Hanlon
said she had been impressed by
how well the newcomers had
managed her ''total immersion''
''I'm just impressed that people
who have never done this before
Set in California in 1969, the script
was written by O'Hanlon in the
past few months and incorporates
21 songs which largely focus on
social issues of the era.
''It's a very specific sound and
genre and it was all socially
driven,'' she said.
O'Hanlon spent months mulling
over California Dreaming which
had been inspired by lyrics about
''The music is where the inspi-
ration comes from. We've done
two other shows based on this
format where it's based around
The show touches on meaty issues
including civil rights, the
women's movement and the peace
to steal the limelight
By JOHN EDENS
Organisers: Stars In Your Eyes committee 2012,
front, from left, Steve Brett, Kate Patterson-Ross,
and Jamie Robertson. Back, Paul Tamati,
Michael Balk, Gerard O'Connor, Norman
Bresanello, Toni Collins, Katherleen Zivkovich-
Rankin, Ali O'Connor and Lauren McHenry.
What: Stars in Your Eyes
When: Today till September 22
Where: Lake Wanaka Centre
Tickets: $35 for Wed and Thur;
$40 for Fri and Sat
show in Wanaka celeb-
rates 20 years of music
and impersonations this
Stars in Your Eyes, which
started in 1992, invites
auditions from members
of the community each
Based on the popular
television show, the
people a chance to sing
live dressed as their
Director Jamie Robert-
son, of Cardrona Valley,
refused to give away any
details of the impersona-
tions in advance of the
He said the first show was
a 60-seat affair but 120
people arrived. The show these
days costs $20,000 to stage but
turns a profit, which is donated to
schools for musical instruments.
''It all goes towards music. It's
definitely the longest-running
show in Wanaka,'' he said.
Twenty-one impersonators take to
the stage at the Lake Wanaka
Centre today for the first show of
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