Award winning musical Chicago coming to New Zealand

The award winning Broadway musical Chicago is coming to New Zealand later in the year, with tickets for shows in Auckland in August on sale now.

The longest running American musical ever on New York's Broadway and London's West End will play at Auckland's The Civic from August 25 to 28, before a season at Wellington's Opera House in September.

Presale for the Auckland shows is taking place now ahead of sales to the general public on Friday.

Set in the Prohibition-era 1920s, Chicago tells the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer with ambitions of Vaudeville stardom, who maliciously murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. 

The show is based on a 1926 Broadway play written by Maurine Dallas Watkins, who was a journalist at the Chicago Tribune who had covered the trials of two women accused of killing their lovers while under the influence of drink and jazz.

Described as "devilishly delicious", the musical has played more 30,000 performances worldwide and an estimated 31 million people have seen it. 

Chicago has won six Tony Awards, two Oliviers, one Grammy, two Baftas and six Academy Awards.

It's well known songs include Razzle Dazzle, Cell Block Tango and All That Jazz.


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New play based on The Simpsons opens in Auckland

A new show has opened in Auckland, and it’s based on The Simpsons.

Called Mr Burns, the Silo Theatre play features some well-known Kiwi performers, such as Ana Scotney from The Breaker Upperers and Joel Tobeck whose list of work includes Sons of Anarchy and Shortland Street.

Written by Anne Washburn, the story begins with an untold apocalyptic event, and how the recollection of the famous Simpsons episode Cape Feare - where Sideshow Bob tries to kill Bart - helps bind those left alive.

The message is centred around the importance of storytelling and holding onto cultural traditions.

"Something can grow into something bigger, as stories get told and things get changed," said director and life-long The Simpsons fan Oliver Driver.

"What binds us together are stories, legend, myths and the beginning of them and how they can shift and change over time, and the necessity of stories for our survival," Scotney said.

The play has previously been done in the US, UK and Australia, but this is the first time it’s been performed for a New Zealand audience.

Tobeck, who hasn’t done any theatre work for 15 years, says the show is the full package.

"It has the drama, the music, the dance and the grandness of The Simpsons,” he said.

The show is on at Q Theatre in Rangatira until the end of the month.

Mr Burns is on at the Q Theatre in Rangatira and features some well-known Kiwi performers including Ana Scotney from The Breaker Upperers and Joel Tobeck from Sons of Anarchy. Source: 1 NEWS


Rapper Mac Miller 'dead for hours' before emergency services arrived

Mac Miller's dead body reportedly lay undiscovered for hours before police and paramedics arrived at his house.

The 26-year-old rapper's body was discovered by police and paramedics in the bedroom of his San Fernando Valley home around midday on Friday (local time), but sources told TMZ it was clear he had passed away from an apparent overdose long before they arrived.

The night before Miller was discovered, he had had friends over to the house to hang out, and they left in the early hours of the Friday morning, with police revealing no one has come forward to say they had seen him alive after that night.

A call to emergency services said the Self Care hitmaker had suffered a cardiac arrest, but it's believed that the person who found him may not have realised he was already dead.

It was previously claimed Miller's California home had been "swept clean" so there would be no evidence of drug use.

Police searching for clues were said to have found only a small amount of white powder at the property.

American rapper Mac Miller dies age 26.
American rapper Mac Miller dies age 26. Source: Bang Showbiz

Earlier this week, the rapper's body was released to his family after an autopsy on his remains was completed, though an official cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Los Angeles County coroner's spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said: "The autopsy was completed and a cause of death has been deferred pending additional tests. His body has been released."

A cause of death won't be announced until test results are released, and that could take anything from a few weeks to months, the spokesperson confirmed.

Now Miller's body has been released, his funeral will be able to take place.

Though it's currently unclear when that will happen, the Dang! star was raised in the Jewish faith, where it is preferred to have burial take place in as short an interval of time after death as possible.

FILE - In this July 13, 2013, file photo, Rapper Mac Miller performs on his Space Migration Tour at Festival Pier in Philadelphia. Los Angeles County coroner’s spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, that investigators have performed the autopsy and released the Miller's body to the family, but a cause will not be announced until the results of toxicology tests that can take weeks or months. Miller was found dead in his Los Angeles home last week. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)
Rapper Mac Miller performs on his Space Migration Tour at Festival Pier in Philadelphia. Source: Associated Press

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Woo! Wrestling legend Ric Flair ties the knot at 69

Ric Flair has married Wendy Barlow after six years of dating.

The wrestling legend tied the knot with fiancee Wendy Barlow today in a low-key ceremony at a resort in North Florida.

According to TMZ, fellow WWE icon The Undertaker was among the guests, while RAW star Dolph Ziggler walked Wendy down the aisle.

The 69-year-old wrestler donned a custom suit for the occasion and came in for the ceremony to the sound of Offset and Metro Boomin's track Ric Flair Drip.

Ahead of the ceremony, Ric had posted his excitement on Twitter.

He wrote: "It's Going To Be A Wonderful WOOOOO Wednesday!"

Wendy - who was previously known to wrestling fans as Fifi the French Maid - is Ric's fifth wife and the couple have been together for six years.

The wedding comes a year after Ric was placed into an induced coma for 11 days after being rushed to hospital with stomach pains that were later diagnosed as the early stages of kidney failure and congestive heart failure due to years of alcohol abuse and he later praised Wendy for her support during his medical ordeal.

He said: "Wendy stayed with me in the ICU every day. She got what's called ... seriously, ICU psychosis, and she never left my room for 11 days."

Ric also claimed he "couldn't walk" after he was brought out of his coma, and was sent to a physical rehabilitation centre where he had to learn the basic function.

He added: "And then when I got released from the hospital they checked me into place, because I had to learn how to walk again, I couldn't walk, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't twist the top off a Gatorade bottle or open a diet Coke. I lost 43 lbs. So they put me into a physical rehab, not an alcohol rehab. I'd already done that gig, and that really worked."

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 22:  Ric Flair (R) attends Univision's 30th Edition Of "Premio Lo Nuestro A La Musica Latina" at American Airlines Arena on February 22, 2018 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
Ric Flair and Wendy Barlow. Source: Bang Showbiz


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Watch: Rihanna unveils Savage x Fenty at New York Fashion Week, Gigi and Bella Hadid model in show

Rihanna unleashed the wild beast in a lush tropical land that turned to arid desert with women of all shapes, sizes and colours writhing, cackling, frolicking and stalking like animals for her second season of Savage x Fenty.

Her exotic world of bralettes, undies and pajamas was shown off in 50 looks amid a pond, hydroponics, moveable botanical biodomes and a plant growing station constructed deep inside a cavernous building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard as New York Fashion Week came to a close today.

"My mission is to just have women all over the world feel comfortable and sexy and have fun with lingerie," the pop star, fashion maven and beauty mogul told The Associated Press backstage after the unique show that had her crowd cheering.

"I think tonight was just one of those experiences that I wanted people to feel that energy. I wanted them to feel all the different body types, all the different women in different stages of their womanhood."

Rihanna's "beasts" came tattooed. They included two pregnant women showing off their swelled bellies with pride. Another was a nymph in neon green.

The famous model sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid were there, the former in browns, Bella in a soft blue.

All moved slowly through choreography at times, some beneath a waterfall, amid a set alive with fauna, greenery wending up two dome structures that moved slowly around as Rihanna's women slinked in and out.

At other times, women grouped together exploring their bodies as trios. One was very, very good at the splits.

"When you hear the word savage, it's pretty self-explanatory," Rihanna explained. "It's a confident word. It's a word that is fearless, and I feel like the women here tonight represented that word, savage, and I feel every woman has a savage inside of them, whether they found it or not. It's there."

The Savage x Fenty collection for fall-winter, fusing street style with bedroom ready for anything sexy, was available for purchase immediately after the show.

It comes in a range of neons, animal prints, nudes and neutrals, and tones of emerald, ruby and amethyst. There were new silhouettes when compared with her first highly successful season, cut high on the leg.

Bralettes and underwear were done in mesh, fishnet and lace. Pyjamas were oversized to be worn for day or night. Bodysuits ranged from knitted to barely there string options that revealed all, pasties in place. At least sometimes.

This savage world is available at SavageX.com, HarveyNichols.com, Zalendo.com and a pop-up shop in New York, with the Mall of America to follow.

The singer’s exotic world of bralettes, undies and pyjamas were shown off in 50 looks. Source: Associated Press