Songs for everybody

CHANCE ENCOUNTERS: Award winning actress and singer Ali Harper’s one-person show Songs for Nobodies has earned accoloades from New Zealand to New York and now she is bringing the production to Gisborne. Picture supplied

The influence that chance encounters play in our lives is explored in Ali Harper’s one-person show Songs for Nobodies.

“I play five nobodies who all have an encounter with a somebody,” says Harper on a promo clip.

The show the award-winning New Zealand actress and singer will perform in Gisborne next week features five life-changing encounters between legendary divas and the everyday women whose lives they touched. The production is interspersed with songs by Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Billie Holliday and Maria Callas. Well-known songs from Holiday and Callas are also structured into the play to deliver a big emotional pay-off.

“Songs for Nobodies boasts a script which perfectly marries the power of music,” says Harper. “It will reach out and grab your heart. It will hit you on a comedic level, an intellectual level and on a spiritual level.”

The show is 90 minutes of joy, enthused Stuff reviewer Sharron Pardoe.

“The audience was transfixed by the lone figure on stage, who showed us 10 different personalities, each seamlessly transitioning into the next.”

Among those personalities is the dumped woman who encounters Judy Garland in a powder room and is comforted by the diva as she fixes her hem. Another nobody is Too Junior Jones, an eager young reporter who seeks her first serious interview with Billie Holiday.

“Harper nailed the diva’s smokey voice and Strange Fruit is a particularly powerful moment in the show,” said Pardoe. At its heart Songs for Nobodies reminds us that despite fame and fortune, the women whose names are etched into showbiz history are often as miserable as the rest of us, writes Alana Dixon-Calder in Theatrereview.

“As Holiday, Harper asks, ‘What do happy people sing about?’ That single line underscores a common thread running through the show.”

Songs for Nobodies, War Memorial Theatre, October 17, 7.30pm. Tickets from Stephen Jones Photography and TicketDirect.

The influence that chance encounters play in our lives is explored in Ali Harper’s one-person show Songs for Nobodies.

“I play five nobodies who all have an encounter with a somebody,” says Harper on a promo clip.

The show the award-winning New Zealand actress and singer will perform in Gisborne next week features five life-changing encounters between legendary divas and the everyday women whose lives they touched. The production is interspersed with songs by Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Billie Holliday and Maria Callas. Well-known songs from Holiday and Callas are also structured into the play to deliver a big emotional pay-off.

“Songs for Nobodies boasts a script which perfectly marries the power of music,” says Harper. “It will reach out and grab your heart. It will hit you on a comedic level, an intellectual level and on a spiritual level.”

The show is 90 minutes of joy, enthused Stuff reviewer Sharron Pardoe.

“The audience was transfixed by the lone figure on stage, who showed us 10 different personalities, each seamlessly transitioning into the next.”

Among those personalities is the dumped woman who encounters Judy Garland in a powder room and is comforted by the diva as she fixes her hem. Another nobody is Too Junior Jones, an eager young reporter who seeks her first serious interview with Billie Holiday.

“Harper nailed the diva’s smokey voice and Strange Fruit is a particularly powerful moment in the show,” said Pardoe. At its heart Songs for Nobodies reminds us that despite fame and fortune, the women whose names are etched into showbiz history are often as miserable as the rest of us, writes Alana Dixon-Calder in Theatrereview.

“As Holiday, Harper asks, ‘What do happy people sing about?’ That single line underscores a common thread running through the show.”

Songs for Nobodies, War Memorial Theatre, October 17, 7.30pm. Tickets from Stephen Jones Photography and TicketDirect.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Highlights in Ali Harper’s 25 year career on the stage and TV include Mary Poppins, Blood Brothers, Mamma Mia, Legally Blond, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, A Shortcut to Happiness, Side by Side by Sondheim, Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in Paris, Jerry’s Girls, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Tell Me on a Sunday.

The United Solo Festival artistic director attended Harper’s recent performance of Songs for Nobodies in New York. He was so impressed he invited the New Zealander to perform at the festival’s closing night gala in late November. See Facebook page aliharpernz for video footage.

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