Concert sets Lakeside alight

By Rebecca Malcolm

The theme was "come together" - and they did in spectacular fashion.

Lakeside 2013 - Come Together drew an estimated crowd of 30,000 to the Rotorua Lakefront's Village Green for the city's annual free show.

This year's line-up included hits from The Beatles which got people up and dancing, while Jennifer Ward-Lealand mesmerised the crowd with her performance as show performer Marlene Dietrich.

But the standing ovation and highlight of the night went to the amazing physical theatre performance of Eve Gordon and Mike Edward.

Their performance, to the War of the Worlds theme, saw the pair show off their extraordinary physical strength in an aerial display described as "poetry in motion" by Rotorua Lakeside Charitable Trust chairman Ian Edward.

After a powhiri and welcome by Nga Uri O Te Whanoa the cast hit the stage and got the crowd warmed up with some of the classic hits of the Beatles.



Russell Harrison cemented himself as an established professional while former Taupo man and New Zealand Idol runner-up Michael Murphy was an absolute star.

Murphy, who was a ball of energy throughout the performance, stole the show proving his range with upbeat hits like I Want To Hold Your Hand before slowing things down with While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Te Arawa's Ria Hall received a hometown welcome as she sang a mix of her own music and covers while Tina Cross was a consummate professional as she belted out the tunes along with Suzanne Lynch.

After rounding the first half off with a tune from Glee, New Zealand's premier trombone quartet BonaNZa hit the stage before a change of pace with opera numbers from Carmen.

The addition of dancers from the Jamus Webster Haka Troupe added a touch of comedy to the opera before Ward-Lealand captivated the audience.

Mr Edward said this year's show was one of the best yet. While it wasn't a record crowd, it was "up there with the best of them".

"It was an absolutely mellow crowd, totally absorbed."

Lakeside event manager Monty Morrison said he had heard nothing but positive feedback from the night.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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