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Multi-million dollar NZ theatre production to launch

Multi-million dollar New Zealand theatre production to launch October 2018
City of 100 Lovers, a musical comedy, tells a story uniquely our own

A first of its kind is opening in Auckland this October. The launch of a never seen before, live stage show, created by a global production team of uncompromising talent; telling a story that is uniquely our own – our people, our culture, our city and our land.

Produced in New Zealand, the $8Million budget, musical comedy, City of 100 Lovers, has been created for locals and tourists alike. The show simultaneously takes viewers through an entertaining love story while showcasing the places, culture and way of life, which attracts millions of tourists to Tamaki Makaurau every year.

A resident show, designed to be a permanent fixture at SKYCITY Theatre, City of 100 Lovers fills a gap in the market for evening entertainment options in Auckland City, giving visitors more reason for Auckland to be a destination not a transit point on their itinerary.

“City of 100 Lovers is a theatre spectacle full of music, song and dance and a comedic kiwi script,” says Brett O’Riley, Chairman Advisory Board, Templar Tourism Management

“This is the biggest locally produced show of its kind which celebrates what makes us unique - our people, culture and humour, in a contemporary but authentic way; it is also the ultimate launchpad for tourists to fall in love with Auckland and what our city has to offer in experiences and attractions”.

“It will deliver thousands of additional room nights from tourists and an increase in tourism spend in the city”, says O’Riley.

A world-class collaboration, City of 100 Lovers brings together the best talent from New Zealand, Australia, China and the USA. The 158 strong team of cast, crew, design and production have created an 80-minute show, with more than 150 costumes, 16 musical numbers, including 11 original songs, that will be showcased across 6 shows a week, in the 700-seat SKYCITY Theatre for an initial 9 month season, with the vision of becoming a permanent show.

The original story concept created by bestselling New Zealand author, Justin Brown and developed by American Tony Award nominee, Peter Kellogg, brilliantly dissects NZ culture with the best of it on show.

With strong Māori themes which are woven into the music, dance, costume and storyline, much weight has been given to investing time and resource in ensuring that these elements are authentic whilst modernised for a contemporary theatre show.

Cultural Advisor and Māori Talent Curator, Paora Sharples, has brought his wealth of knowledge and experience in the areas of traditional and contemporary Māori performing arts and Te Reo Māori to City of 100 Lovers.

“The show presents an amazing opportunity to showcase Māori culture in a manner that is rooted in strong tradition but presented in a musical production”, says Sharples.

“I am passionate about presenting Māori culture to new audiences, in a way that is relevant for today’s society and I believe the show will lead to other opportunities for New Zealand to tell our story in new and interesting ways”.

For Artistic Director, Vincent Ward, whose role has been to guide the project visually and to support the Director to achieve his goals, Ward says that City of 100 Lovers is an incredibly interesting proposition. “You have a New York Director who has been part of hundreds of theatre shows, a costume designer from China with a highly imaginative vision, a brilliant New Zealand composer, gifted visual content and design team and a highly talented cast who have all come together to orchestrate an accessible and entertaining show about Auckland and visiting Auckland”.

Show director Tony Stimac who hails from New York and whose expertise lies in creating original musicals has been blown away by the world-class talent in New Zealand.

“I didn’t know much about New Zealand and honestly I was nervous about what I would find but the team is spectacular – they are extremely professional and pursue perfection with an absolute vengeance, with no detail too small to give attention to”, says Stimac.

“This production could not have happened without each individual and they have made my job easy and enjoyable”.

Head Costume Designer, Ding Ding has styled and designed the wardrobe for multiple high profile Chinese films and live performances and has used handcrafted materials and special fibres to create other-worldly costumes.

“We have used special technology, luminescent fibres and other low-voltage light-emitting materials to create show-stopping costumes which push the boundaries of theatre costume to more installation art”, remarks Ding Ding.

Musical Director, Composer and lyricist, Tom McLeod brings his APRA and Silver Scroll award winning talent to the creation of music and lyrics.

“Musically this is a really exciting project” says McLeod. “It is a rare and special thing to get to create an original New Zealand musical, and to have it recorded by the APO and performed by a 26-strong cast, along with a live band each night – it’s a huge privilege".

Choreographer, Taiaroa Royal is one of New Zealand’s foremost contemporary dancers and he is passionate about intertwining his art form with Māori beliefs.

“There is an eclectic mix of dance and cultural elements, while still being a musical theatre performance”, says Royal. “Each morning we have a Karakia to bring everyone together, to connect us to our land and acknowledge our tangata whenua. From here the spirit of who we are and the unique perspective in the way we present our art doesn’t leave us; and audiences will be able to see this on stage”.

An extremely technical show, with hundreds of split second cues with projections, music and lighting; every scene, song and moment has been tweaked and refined with the aim of making the 80-minute show an entertaining and engaging spectacle.

City of 100 Lovers NZ’s longest running resident theatre production, is soon to become an iconic Auckland entertainment offering, by introducing a world class cultural and theatrical experience to the central city.

Gala Preview Friday, 12th October
Tickets are on sale at for preview shows on 13th, 16th and 17th
Full show opening on Saturday 20th October




Sally, a newly divorced food critic from New York City gets an assignment to judge a cooking contest in the City of 100 Lovers. Imagining herself drinking red wine in Paris she is taken aback to learn that she will be travelling more than 21 hours and crossing eight time zones to reach New Zealand and the city of Tamaki Makaurau - City of 100 Lovers.

Sally knows nothing about New Zealand and expects to only be disappointed.

To her surprise, from the moment Sally steps foot on New Zealand soil she is captivated by Auckland city’s multiculturalism, beauty and history, and is equally charmed by her charismatic Maori tour guide, TJ.

As sparks fly and cultures collide, Sally finds herself turning away from her New York lifestyle – until – the arrival of Donald, Sally’s ex-boyfriend and her friend and editor, Deede.

Donald wants Sally back, Deede wants to hook up with TJ and to make matters worse Donald discovers a pristine beach near TJ’s family marae which he decides is the perfect spot for another of his hotel complexes.

With TJ starting to resent ever meeting Sally and her emotions in turmoil, Sally is offered advice by a wise Maori elder – which she unfortunately doesn’t take.

Will Donald build his Hotel? Will Sally make amends with TJ or go back to New York with Donald? And will anyone in this show turn out to have a last name?

Find out when you see City of 100 Lovers at SKYCITY Theatre from October 12th.

© Scoop Media

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