Twice bitten, the Nelson theater group finally gets their moment in the spotlight


The Nelson Musical Theater will present its new show, A Night on Broadway, from September 19-22.

Provided

The Nelson Musical Theater will present its new show, A Night on Broadway, from September 19-22.

The Nelson Musical Theater will finally have its moment in the sun, after extreme weather and pandemic concerns disrupted its opening nights for two consecutive years.

Next Monday, the Nelson Musical Theater (NMT) will debut its musical medley, A Night on Broadway, which will be held at the Red Door Theater for four nights.

Originally scheduled for August 17, the extreme weather conditions the region has experienced pushed back opening night to September, after the production had already lost cast to Covid-19 earlier in the year.

This is the second time a performance scheduled for a mid-August opening has been cut short, NMT President Robbie Burns said.

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The opening night of A Night on Broadway on August 17 was postponed due to extreme flooding.

Provided

The opening night of A Night on Broadway on August 17 was postponed due to extreme flooding.

Last year’s production of Mary Poppins, also scheduled for August 17, was canceled days before opening night after the government announced the country would enter Tier 4 lockdown.

On the morning of August 17 this year, the cast and crew of the Nelson Musical Theater had been “eager and excited” to perform.

However, extreme rain put a damper on things. It quickly became apparent that the performance would have to be canceled, due to the theater’s location on Atawhai Drive, adjacent to Founders Park.

“Once the road and park were closed, we knew it wasn’t safe to go ahead that night.”

Burns said that while people had initially hoped some shows might still go on, it quickly became apparent just how dire the weather event was.

Founders Park in Atawhai and surrounding streets were hit by multiple slides during last month's rain, forcing NMT's production of A Night on Broadway to be pushed back.

BRADEN FASTER / TRICK

Founders Park in Atawhai and surrounding streets were hit by multiple slides during last month’s rain, forcing NMT’s production of A Night on Broadway to be pushed back.

The series of shows had to be canceled, as it could not be performed in a state of emergency.

“The slides in front of us were huge, we had mud up to our knees up to our building.”

“It wouldn’t have been safe or reasonable, so we had no choice but to cancel the race.”

After being postponed for a year due to the pandemic, last year’s cancellation of the production of Mary Poppins left NMT $40,000 in the red.

However, despite “a bit of calendar juggling” to find suitable dates that worked for cast, band, crew, and theater, NMT was able to find new September dates for this year’s show.

A Night on Broadway will cover 50 different songs from Broadway’s greatest musicals.

As for Aug. 17, the Nelson Musical Theater would avoid scheduling shows for that date in the future, Burns joked.

‘A Night on Broadway’ will take place at the Red Door Theater on Atawhai Drive from September 19-22. Tickets can be purchased here.

Rob Hunter/supplied

Video shows the damage to Devenish Place, Atawhai, after a river of water and debris sank it. (First published August 18, 2022)

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