Sister Mary Clarence is back in the habit at the TSB Showplace this weekend.
Akina Edmonds, who starred in the role made famous by Whoopi Goldberg, last appeared on the TSB Showplace as Deloris Van Cartier is the Australasian premiere of the musical Sister Act which was produced by New Plymouth Operatic in mid-2016. Four years later, and Akina is back in New Plymouth this weekend as part of an all-star all-New Zealand cast for The Shows Must Go On.
The Shows Must Go On is a glittering concert of musical theatre showstoppers, featuring songs from the world's greatest Broadway and West End musicals in concert including The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Mamma Mia, Wicked, Priscilla, The Greatest Showman, and more, along with New Zealand's favourite musical Les Miserables.
Since Sister Act concluded in July 2016, Edmonds has been performing professionally, including touring Australia as part of the cast of the Broadway musical Beautiful – the Carole King story and a TV appearance on The Voice – Australia where she was selected by Delta Goodrem. Following the conclusion of Beautiful, Edmonds was back home in New Zealand enjoying some quality time with her friends and family, when the Covid-19 lockdown hit.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"I am so looking forward to being back in New Plymouth and on the Showplace stage," she says.
"I have so many special memories of New Plymouth and all the amazing people of Taranaki. I'm also really looking forward to catching up with so many of my Sister Act friends while in town – and I know it's going to be a great home audience for me on Friday and Saturday nights."
The entertainment industry worldwide has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Theatres on Broadway in New York and the West End in London still remain closed – with no re-opening in site. New Zealand is one of the only countries in the world right now where live performances can be held, something Akina says she appreciates.
"I can't get over the fact that we're performing. Trust me when I say, I KNOW how incredibly lucky I am. Singing for our entire industry has never felt more important."
Akina says the audience is in for a treat this weekend.
"It's an absolute feast, and it's live theatre. We haven't had live theatre for so long, so get out and amongst it. It is the human experience of it all that makes the night out so great."