Showbiz and Gay Ski Week joining forces

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Showbiz Queenstown is co-producing a second musical this year to tie in with Gay Ski Week. 

It’s putting on the award-winning Broadway musical La Cage Aux Folles, which is set in a St Tropez drag-show nightclub. La Cage Aux Folles is based on a French play which also spawned the Hollywood movie comedy, The Birdcage

The driving force behind the production – which holds auditions this Saturday – is long-time Showbiz Queenstown executive member and former president Alex Derbie. 

His company Memorial Centre Productions is co-producing – the first joint venture Showbiz Queenstown has 
entered into. 

“I put a proposal to Showbiz Queenstown, which they have accepted and welcomed, whereby a lot of the artistic and some financial assistance will come from my production company,” Derbie says. 

Derbie and Showbiz have secured veteran Christchurch-based director Bryan Aitken who’s also directing Showbiz’s rendition of Chicago, running next month. 

The co-producers also approached the organisers of Queenstown’s annual Gay Ski Week, Sally and Mandy Whitewoods. 

As a result the musical will be staged that week, from September 1-7, meaning it can tap into a potential audience of about 1000 Gay Ski Week visitors. 

Sally Whitewoods says: “It’s also a fantastic way for locals, whatever their inclination might be, to support Gay Ski Week. 

“And it’s a way of proving Gay Ski Week has changed since we took it over, and that it’s all about the community,” she says. 

The show will be at the remodelled Queenstown Memorial Centre. 

Seating will include 12 tables of 10, which is fitting because much of the show is set in a cabaret club, Derbie says. 

Auditions are at Showbiz Queenstown’s rooms in Isle Street this Saturday, 2-6pm. 

Aitken says: “We’re looking for the actor/singer/dancer, people with a good edge of comedy and a good sense of theatre.”