Chicago hopefuls (from back left) Lauren Veneziano and
Zelia Horrell, both of Queenstown, with Carole
Shuttleworth, Stephanie Percy and Haley Purdon, all of
Arrowtown, plus (from front left) Charlotte Graf and Nicole
McLean, both of Arrowtown, show they have the right stuff
in auditions in the Qpact rooms on Saturday for the latest
Showbiz Queenstown production.
attracted over the weekend the greatest
number of Wakatipu talents ever to audition for a Showbiz
Queenstown production and the directors face a tough task in
deciding who will star.
A total of 58 women and a dozen men dressed the part, adopted
the attitude of the sensational and satirical musical and
gave their best shot for returning director Bryan Aitken,
musical director Emma Wilson and choreographer Anna Stuart in
the Qpact rooms.
Hopefuls earlier decided which principal or ensemble
character they wanted to try out for and stated if they felt
their strength was in acting or singing, although both were
They were each given a piece of music and dialogue to learn
from the hit show, then had their individual allocated time
Chicago audition contenders (from left) Jen Shirra, Tania
Carter, Isobella Reid, Melita Gizilis, Michelle Thayer,
Christiana Zhu, Lisa Moore, Fiona Bracken (partly obscured)
and Rachel Lea practise their routine from the show set for
the Queenstown Memorial Centre from May 16 to 25. Photos by
A cast of 30 men and women was needed to begin rehearsing
next week, leading to the season in the revamped Queenstown
Memorial Centre from May 16 to 25.
Mr Aitken said the auditions had been ''exacting and
exhausting'' when asked to comment halfway through the
process on Saturday night.
''The music has some specific needs in singing, dancing and
acting, so it's a long and intensive process.
''Certain characters need triple-threats - people capable of
acting, singing and dancing, which in previous plays wasn't
Mr Aitken said the creative team was trimming the list of
contenders and he was confident a strong cast would emerge.
Showbiz Queenstown and Remarkables Park Town Centre present
Chicago, based on the 1926 play by Maurine Dallas
Watkins, inspired by real Prohibition era personalities she
reported on for the Chicago Tribune.
It opened on Broadway in 1975, the West End in 1979 and was
revived in 1996 to become the longest running musical revival
in Broadway history. It became a film starring Renee
Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere in 2002 and
scooped six Academy Awards the following year.