Lucky Evelyn Page residents got a special sneak preview of a new Strictly Ballroom production yesterday, all thanks to their new Activity & Lifestyle Coordinator Michael Sanders.
The residents were treated to four numbers from the new amateur dramatic musical being performed at Orewa’s Centrestage theatre from 7-21 March.
Michael, who is the director of the show and also a member of the theatre’s committee, said the cast had just received their costumes that day so the performance was effectively a first mini-dress rehearsal!
“They are quite nervous,” Michael said before the performance. “This will be the first time dancing in front of an audience for a lot of them, and the first time they have performed in front of an audience. So it’s quite a big deal.”
Fans of Dancing with the Stars also recognised two dancers from the show – Scott Cole, who was one of the cast, and Brad Coleman, who was the show’s choreographer.
The show is based on the Australian romantic comedy play and film of the same name written and directed by Baz Luhrmann.
Resident Julia Bissett, who until recently led the very successful village choir, said she loved the performance and now couldn’t wait to see the whole show.
“I went out and bought my tickets as soon as they went on sale!” she said.
Fellow choir member Leslie Clapperton was also impressed. “I think I will go along to the last night, that’s always a good one to go to,” she said.
Michael, who started working at the village in January, has worked as a choreographer and director of mainly amateur productions for many years.
One of the reasons the role at the village appealed to him was the chance to work with an older age group.
“The theatre is often all about how to get young people involved but I think there’s a lot of potential with this age group.
“I’m looking forward to exploring some ideas with the residents here,” he said.
Village Manager Jill Clark said Michael was a wonderful addition to the team and said he had an amazing list of contacts in the industry which had already been put to good use.
On Valentine’s Day he surprised the residents by organising for a string quartet to perform around the fountain in the village grounds while they sipped champagne and ate strawberries which went down a treat.
Bert Sutcliffe Retirement Village residents Norris Aitken and Dick Fisher have put their woodworking skills to great use...