Hayden Tee is incredibly excited to be on the road bringing live theatre to New Zealanders.
He along with some of New Zealand's greatest musical theatre performers have returned home from Broadway, West End and other international stages because of Covid, and are sharing their amazing talents in The Shows Must Go On.
The seven world-class artists will perform showstoppers from your favourite musicals including The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Hairspray, Dreamgirls, The Greatest Showman, We Will Rock You and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, at the Toitoi Opera House in Hastings on Wednesday, October 28.
"We are the first country in the world to be able to do this and I can't wait," Tee said.
He says he absolutely loves touring.
"I'm a scatterbrain at the best of times so it's so cool on tour to be told where to be, what to wear and when to eat. I'm someone else's responsibility, it's not in the slightest bit stressful, in fact it's always lots of fun."
Tee is from Maungaturoto in Northland and has made a name for himself globally as an acclaimed performer, makeup artist and recording artist in theatre, concert and cabaret throughout New Zealand, Australia, Asia, the UK and US.
His extensive musical theatre portfolio has seen him play Javert in Les Misérables on Broadway, London's West End, Australia, Dubai and New Zealand; Marius in Les Misérables on London's West End and Miss Trunchbull in Matilda on London's West End and in the international tour.
"I've been travelling the world for the past 10 years in a true theatrical gypsy lifestyle. I came back to New Zealand and isolated for two weeks just before lockdown. I feel so lucky to be here."
Tee has been singing since he was 14 but says because he grew up in such a little town it wasn't until he was about 19 or 20 that he realised he could actually get paid for it.
"I knew that's what I wanted to do. It makes me happy."
He said audiences of The Shows Must Go on are in for a treat. "The cast is extraordinary with unique individuals all at the top of their game."
Included in the cast is Akina Edmonds who spent part of her childhood growing up in Napier.
She has more recently been working with Guy Sebastian and Boy George on The Voice Australia. She gained recognition across the ditch with her powerful voice, joining the cast of major Australian tours of Buddy Holly the Musical, Avenue Q, Hairspray, An Officer and a Gentleman, Children of Eden, The Lion King, Beautiful; The Carole King Musical and Sister Act the Musical where she played the starring role of Deloris van Cartier.
Producer Dave Spark says this is a rare chance to see and hear some of New Zealand's greatest proponents of musical theatre.
"The idea sprang from having the artists at home plus having a lot of experienced technical teams out of work because border closure meant international acts could not get here.
"If there's a silver lining to Covid, this is it. Such a rare opportunity for New Zealanders to enjoy the magic that Broadway and West End audiences do every day. Right here on their doorstep. You could say it's the perfect storm for musical theatre aficionados!"
Tickets from Ticketek