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Waikato hosts official launch of world premier musical

Waikato hosts official launch of world premier musical

Leaders in the Waikato music and entertainment industry celebrated New Zealand Music Month in style last night at the official launch of a musical fit for its ‘world premiere’ at Hamilton’s Clarence St Theatre on 10-12 July.

The musical, a rock opera titled State Highway 48, was written by renowned Hamilton musician Chris Williams and will be directed by Hamilton’s Nick Wilkinson, who was behind the successful production of Jesus Christ Superstar locally last year.

Williams said last night’s official launch, which took place at The Meteor theatre in Hamilton and included a poignant performance of two State Highway 48 songs, gave guests a glimpse of what’s to come in July.

“State Highway 48 is based on the journey of middle age. The story, told through lyrics, melodies, and dance, traces a typical middle-aged couple, their kids and their friends as they grapple with their daily lives, relationships and work,” he said.

“It’s a commentary on life at middle age and is aimed at helping to make us all feel ‘normal’ laugh at ourselves, and be happy in our own skins.”

When it premiers in July, State Highway 48 will be one of the only musicals written by a New Zealander performed to such a large commercial extent.

Local talent Bryan Bevege and Kersten Hickman are the musical’s lead performers and seasoned musician and composer, Trevor Faville, completes the local line up as musical director.

Williams, who regularly writes and performs music in his spare time, has been working on State Highway 48 for the previous five years and is looking forward to “finally sharing it with Hamilton and the world.”

“Broadly I want to tell my story to a local and eventually world-wide audience. I want them to go away fully entertained and moved; but also with the feeling that they related to the story, that some of the issues they are going through are ok, and that, maybe, they could make some changes.”

“It’s raw and real but it has lots of laughs, a few tears, and a happy ending,” he said.

Tickets are available now through or through Ticketek.


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