Tauranga's premiere of The Blues Brothers musical is back under the spotlight after Covid-19 lockdown forced the cast and crew to postpone the show just three weeks before opening night.
The original season of Tauranga Musical Theatre's production of The Blues Brothers: First Contact was set to be staged from April 17 to May 2 this year.
But the Covid-19 lockdown meant the show had to be postponed to August and closing night is already almost sold out.
Tauranga Musical Theatre president Jeremy Sparrow said going into lockdown just three weeks from opening and not knowing when they could reopen was "certainly challenging" for all volunteers involved.
"But everyone has been amazingly resilient and supportive every step of the way," he said.
Sparrow said to get the green light on the show and resume its usual activities, including youth classes, social events, and end of year show schedule was a "huge relief".
"We're excited to provide an opportunity for people to be creative and get creating with us again," he said.
"It's not just us who are looking forward to being back either. With our closing night all but sold out just a few days after going back on sale, it's clear people are looking forward to a night out at the theatre."
The Blues Brothers: First Contact is an original piece co-written and directed by Tauranga's Liam Hagan and Gordy Lockhart.
The pair decided to stage a musical of John Landis' 1980 American musical comedy film The Blues Brothers, starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as Jake and Elwood Blues, about four or five years ago.
They have also gained permission of Judy Belushi, wife of John Belushi, to stage the musical this August.
Director Hagan said it was "gutting" to have to postpone the show.
"We had put so much work into it. We were so close."
But he said to have new dates scheduled is "a relief" and the cast was "thrilled" to be back rehearsing.
Co-director Lockhart said it was crucial for theatre to return post-lockdown and he was delighted to be "one of the first cabs off the rank".
"People enjoy watching people. Tauranga is a big little city and a large portion have an audience who will know somebody on the stage.
"I hope this being the inaugural Blues Brothers premiere in Tauranga in a post-Covid world that people will come and see it."
The Blues Brothers: First Contact
What: The Blues Brothers: First Contact
Where: Tauranga Musical Theatre, 17th Ave
When: August 14–29, 2020
Director: Liam Hagan
Co-director: Gordy Lockhart
Musical director: Jonty Climo
Choreographer: Elly-Ann Pritchard
Production manager: Jeremy Sparrow