1 November-21 December 2013 - Director of Chicago, at Q Theatre
Chicago has been extended one last time. Now closing 21 December.
Catch a glimpse of the show in the 20/20 feature story on Amanda Billing, following her transformation from Shortland Street's Sarah Potts to Chicago's Roxie Hart. It includes interviews with Michael and Lucy Lawless, rehearsal scenes, and video from the show's opening night. Click here to watch online (not geo-blocked).
Metro magazine has named Chicago "Best Show" of 2013; click here.
NZ Herald: "With this fabulous, fast-tempoed spectacle of sizzle and sass, Michael Hurst once again proves himself an exceptional director of musical theatre, an auteur of clever, sexy noir with strong conceptual vision and stylistic flourish".
Theatreview: "Michael Hurst's inspiring take on this classic musical is daring, fresh, dynamic, and bristling with sexual energy. His fearless direction and John Gibson's genius musical direction make the show look and sound as if it was written this morning. This is a totally new take on a classic musical ... A daring, world-class production"
Theatre Scenes: "If this triumphant production played in the main theatre centres of the world, I suspect it would be heralded as a major new revival. Hurst plays fast and loose, allowing us to discover a Chicago that is immediate and cynical. More importantly: it is startlingly entertaining..."
Lumiere Reader: "This is Chicago swallowed whole and spat out looking like gold ... Hurst's directorial brilliance ... I was stunned at every turn and never left wanting ... the most fun I've had in a theatre in a long time"
NBR: "Director Michael Hurst knows how to use actors and dancers to great effect and has created a scintillating show of sexual beauty, energy and tension".
Metro: "Director Michael Hurst has modernised and re-interpreted this seminal work ... Shona McCullagh's choreography is demanding and glorious ... A ticket to this vibrant, take-no-prisoners and cheering show set in other difficult times is a worthwhile extravagance".
TV3: "The Auckland Theatre Company's reimagining of the Broadway classic ... is executed with director Michael Hurst's trademark flair ... Hurst has taken the much-loved story and injected it with that winning trifecta: sex, drugs and rock 'n roll".
Listener: "Director Michael Hurst and his team of collaborators bring bucketloads of the old razzle-dazzle ... well served by a staging that's superb"
Keeping Up with New Zealand: "There's a big buzz around this show, and the hype is to be believed ... Congratulations have to go to Michael Hurst for creating this sexy spectacle of murder, money and media manipulation."
Express: "Directed by Michael Hurst, Chicago is easily ATC's best show since Hurst's 2010 Cabaret ... From Hurst's direction to John Gibson's incredible re-imagination of the music, Chicago is an anarchic, fearless, fast-paced ride ... There's a a big buzz around this show at the moment and it's completely justified".
Libel Music: "this production charts the slippery rhythms of lust, celebrity and scandal with a practiced eye ... Hurst's adaptation of Chicago is a production that seeks to provoke and entertain and it is an immersive, intimate experience".
Stuff: "it's bloody good fun ... The cast are wonderfully slimy and engaging ... the show is edge-of-your-seat-tapping-your-leg good times from start to finish. Go see it".
Michael directed the Kander, Ebb & Fosse musical for Auckland Theatre Company, featuring Amanda Billing, Lucy Lawless, Shane Cortese, Colleen Davis, Andrew Grainger, and Sandra Rasmussen, with Mike Edward, Hannah Tasker-Poland, Will Barling, Stephen Butterworth, Lavinia Uhila, James Luck, Katie Swift, and Rebekkah Schoonbeek; choreography by Shona McCullagh, musical direction by John Gibson, set design by John Harding, costume design by Leslie Burkes-Harding, and lighting design by Sean Lynch.
Click here for more information and to book.
From Michael's program notes:
" ... we have given CHICAGO a bit of a shake. We should always be seeking to provoke, to surprise and to stimulate, as well as to entertain. Productions that preserve ideas in a kind of theatrical aspic do little to transport audiences.
It was with this in mind that I invited John Gibson and Shona McCullagh to work with me on CHICAGO, and we have had a fabulous time making it together. Without Shona's choreographic genius and John's musical brilliance, there would be no show, and I am deeply grateful to them for both their commitment to the idea and their willingness to take things further.
I want to thank John Harding and Lesley Burkes-Harding too, set and costume designers, with whom I spent many stimulating hours working through the possibilities for this production. Their well-honed sense of theatre and story development, and their invigorating approach to problem solving were invaluable in developing both the look and flow of the work.
Then there is the talented, scintillating and at times absolutely crazy cast. It's been a joy and a privilege to explore this material with them. We've worked really hard, we've had fun (what point would there be to it if we didn't?) and we've made something that I believe will resonate with audiences".
Click here to read the Chicago preview article in the Weekend Herald including interviews with Michael, Shona McCullach, and Lucy Lawless.
Shane Cortese talked with Andrew Dicken about doing Chicago on Newstalk ZB; listen here. Lucy Lawless talks about doing Chicago in the 27 October Herald on Sunday; read it here.
Narrating Our Big Blue Backyard
Michael is narrating this 6 episode documentary tv series being produced by NHNZ for TVOne. It explores six marine locations around New Zealand's coastline revealing the daily dramas, challenges and triumphs of the marine animals who live in these neighborhoods - from iconic Orca, dolphins and sharks to blue cod, snapper and crayfish and all in between. See Our Big Blue Backyard's Facebook page.
Mid-November 2013 - mid-January 2014: Directing Step Dave
Michael is directing episodes 3, 4 and 5 of new Kiwi tv series, Step Dave. From the press release:
"Created by well-known New Zealand writer, Kate McDermott (Go Girls, Outrageous Fortune) and produced by South Pacific Pictures, Step Dave follows Dave, a 24-year-old Kiwi slacker whose life is turned upside down when he meets the woman of his dreams, Cara - 15 years his senior with three kids and some serious baggage in tow. The show will star Sia Trokenheim (Siones II, This is Not My Life) as Cara and Jono Kenyon (Go Girls) as Dave". The show will air on TV2 in 2014.
4-24 December 2013: A Basement Christmas Carol
Michael is a member of the rotating cast, scheduled to appear Saturday 7 December and Thursdays 12 and 19 December (dates subject to change). Click here for info and to book.
9, 16 January 2014: Auckland Daze episodes 5 & 6
Season 2 is airing Thursdays at 10:05 p.m. on TVOne; Michael plays a producer in episodes 5 & 6. See the Auckland Daze Facebook page.
7-9 February 2014 - Celebrity guest, Official Xena Convention, Burbank, CA
Michael will be a celebrity guest at the annual Xena convention at Burbank Marriott Convention Center. Click here for info
26 February-2 March: New Zealand Festival
14 March 2014: Auckland Town Hall
After being named Metro magazine's "Best Cultural Experience" of 2012 for its premiere season in Auckland, the show toured festivals in New Zealand in 2013, and in 2014 it will be presented at the New Zealand Festival, followed by a "One Night Stand" at Auckland Town Hall. Michael directs Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Tama Waipara, Jon Toogood and Julia Deans. Click here to book for NZ Festival; click here for info on the Auckland Town Hall "One Night Stand".
29-30 March 2014 - Celebrity guest, Oz Comic-Con, Perth, Western Australia
Michael will be a celebrity guest at Oz Comic Con at Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre. Click here for info.
5-6 April 2014 - Celebrity guest, Oz Comic-Con, Adelaide, South Australia
Michael will be a celebrity guest at Oz Comic Con at Goyder Pavillion. Click here for info.
4-27 September 2014: Trees Beneath the Lake
Michael will star as William Campbell in this new Arthur Meek play. For Auckland Theatre Company at Maidment Theatre. Click here, then download 2014 brochure for info.