Kiwi Rock Opera Tackles Mental Health and Middle Age
After making audiences laugh and cry throughout the North Island 8 centre tour, it's now Auckland's turn to experience the critically acclaimed homegrown magic of STATE HIGHWAY 48, playing for a strictly limited season at the Bruce Mason Centre from 15-19 of October.
STATE HIGHWAY 48 is a New Zealand original work, tracking the life and times of an everyday kiwi family and their friends. Changes in the family, workplace, and friendship are set against the backdrop of the recession and brought to life by 26 original songs.
Join the ride down STATE HIGHWAY 48 as Dave and Sharon, their kids, friends and workmates journey through the treacherous road of middle age. Relationships, friendships, work and family are all put to the test as the black dog of depression takes the driver's seat in Dave's life. And as he confronts job loss, marriage breakup and the immense change around him, he gets reminded about the important things in life - friends, family, love.
The fully professional cast of eleven boasts the very best of kiwi musical theatre talent including our very own West End diva - Delia Hannah who returns as leading lady Sharon. "Delia is amazing," says writer and composer Chris Williams. "She was cast by Andrew Lloyd Webber for the UK tour of Aspects of Love, and has toured Australia and Asia extensively, starring in all the big shows including Mamma Mia!, Cats, Chess, Blood Brothers and Disney's production of Mary Poppins."
Returning as official show ambassador Shane Cortese hands the role of Dave over to the exceptionally talented Steve O'Reilly who has recently played the lead in Amici production of Mamma Mia! amongst an impressive range of musical theatre credits. The demon on Dave's back is Chris Tempest who joins the cast as the Black Dog, a physical manifestation of Dave's battle with depression.
Funny, moving and real, STATE HIGHWAY 48 celebrates the extraordinary that's in ordinary life, reminding us that what's on the surface often belies the truth of what's really happening. "I wrote this musical to respond to contemporary New Zealand life. I want to give audiences a reminder about what really matters; the dangers of not facing up to depression and a celebration of the everyday," says Williams.