National | Auckland

New $8mil musical set to showcase Tāmaki Makaurau

Locals and visitors to Auckland will see the cultures, places and lifestyle of the city through musical live stage comedy, City of 100 Lovers.

Cast member Te Waihoroi Shortland says the essence of the $8mil production showcases a Māori worldview.

Shortland says it's a musical love story set in a city desired by thousands.

“This production would not be possible but for the Māori elements within it,” he says.

“Those are the things that carry and bring the showcase to life.  Because of that, I'm delighted to be a part of it, be it small.”

The 158-strong team of cast, crew, designers and production make up the 80-minute musical.

“Every day we offer up prayers to ensure a good spirit on set, to establish relationships between cast and production crews,” says cultural advisor Paora Sharples.

“There is an inclusion of haka, songs and a little poi.”

Pre-production began last year.  New York show director Tony Stimac says he wanted to ensure an authentic portrayal of Māori and cultures in the urban setting.

“What has struck me most about New Zealand is the genuine interweaving of cultures and we have worked hard to showcase this important element,” says Stimac.

The show will be a permanent fixture at SkyCity and is expected to attract over 150,000 people within the first nine months.

“Our ancient traditions blossom in this contemporary era,” says Sharples, “so, without a doubt our youth and young people will enjoy it.”

The official launch will take place on the 12th October.