The curtain will be up on Otaki Players latest musical production, Whistle Down the Wind, when this issue of the Otaki Mail comes out. The 40 strong cast with the orchestra and crew are ready for the lights up to bring the show to life.
Take a trip to small town Louisiana in the bible belt of southern USA in 1959. It’s a story where the innocence of children clashes with the cynicism of adult world hunting for the escaped prisoner believed to be in their midst. Meanwhile the children believe the man in Swallow’s barn is Jesus, after all they’re always being told Jesus will return.
The costumes are colourful, the children’s choruses cheerful. What is the snake preacher telling the town? See the foot stomping-kicking line dancers at the “local” bar and who’s cheating on whom?
Several of the lead roles are played by teens — Ele Warwick is the snake preacher, Esmay Goodman plays lead girl Swallow and Madi Potiki-Grayling is Candy, a girl around the town. Cameron Lafrenz plays Amos the motorbike riding guy — is he a bit of a playboy?
Almost half the cast have not been in an Otaki Players production before and for many it’s the first time they’ve stepped the theatrical boards. Among the large cast are several family groups too.
Director Rob Heather, who with Tua Faavale, has set the scenes has coached the actors into bringing this tale to life. Musical director Graham Orchard had the unenviable task of bringing the songsters into line and providing the musical links to the action. He has coached the 12-14 piece orchestra into shape as well.
Don’t be late – the action begins with the first note from the orchestra.
The show runs July 30,31, August 1, 6,7,8,12,13,14 and 15 at 7.30pm and August 2 and 9 at 2pm, Tickets are available from Otaki Printers, online at otakiplayers.org.nz or for group bookings 021 2529105.