Hamilton Operatic's business manager Philippa Chesham had two options left this year.
One was to write off the year with all shows planned scuppered by the pandemic. The other was to take on the role of director and put together a show within a fraction of the time usually given to the society's productions.
With David Hall as musical director and Hannah McFarlane as choreographer, the trio have done exactly that just in time for Christmas with a show named A Night with Hamilton Operatic at The Meteor.
Showstoppers include songs from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Book of Mormon and Broadway's smash-hit Hamilton.
The programme is also sprinkled with music from Dreamgirls, Matilda, Something Rotten, Hadestown, Newsies and more.
Stars of the society including Hannah Doherty, Dane Moeke, Alex Pelham-Waerea, Jess Ruck-Nu'u, and Mike Williams feature alongside new talent from around the region.
Two alternating children's choirs have also been brought into the mix. There are 27 in the Marian Singers chorus from Marian School in Hamilton East, and 30 Tron Songsters, a choir made up of local 8-13-year olds.
"This year has been so difficult for everyone that we decided to pull out all the stops to end the year on a high. It has been a reasonably quick turnaround from the idea to it almost being opening night, but everyone has worked hard, and the show looks fantastic.
"We have loved the opportunity to include so many children. It's always great to see their confidence grow and stagecraft develop," said Chesham.
One of the society's strengths is the ability to call on a vast and experienced database to star in the show on stage and behind the scenes.
The wardrobe team has had three weeks to assemble 193 costume pieces, and the props manager had slightly longer to procure all manner of items, from the Grinch's book to a 3.5m high Christmas tree.
A variety concert in December needs a good dollop of Christmas songs, and the finale will leave the audience elated and feeling energised for a sparkly new year.
There are five performances between Friday, December 4 and Sunday December 6, including two matinees.
Show Times are:
• Fri Dec 4, 2020, 7.30pm–9pm
• Sat Dec 5, 2020, 2pm–3.30pm
• Sat Dec 5, 2020, 7.30pm–9pm
• Sun Dec 6, 2020, 2pm–3.30pm
• Sun Dec 6, 2020, 6pm–7.30pm
Tickets via the Meteor website:
• Adult: $30
• Child/School: $15
• Senior Citizen/Student: $25