CINDY OF SAMOA as VERA, the shows’ MC.
Cindy of Samoa is simply the best! The popular diva has toured the Pacific, New Zealand, Australia and the US, and is renowned for her impersonations of Shirley Bassey, Whitney Houston and Tina Turner.
At age 15, Cindy Of Samoa became the first female vocalist at Samoa’s famous nightclub, Mt. Vaea. New Zealand tours followed in 1989, Cindy of Samoa became the star attraction of many Polynesian revues, including the must-see tourist show, Cindy’s Cabaret Show. In was said no visit to Samoa is complete until you see the Cindy’s Show. It became top of the list of 10 must do things while in Samoa.
Cindy Of Samoa toured the US in 1999, performing in Carson City, Utah, San Francisco. In 2002, she won Sydney’s Poly Talent Quest, the first of many talent show triumphs. In 2008, she was a finalist in TVNZ’s Stars in their Eyes.
Today, Cindy of Samoa performs regularly at SkyCity Casino and is a crowd favourite at corporate and charity events all around New Zealand.
RAMON TE WAKE as SHEENA.
Ramon Te Wake is a documentarian, singer-songwriter and television presenter. She is a trans woman and her first presenting job was for Māori Television, where she was one of three people fronting Takatāpui, which was Maori Television’s first ever LGBT show.
She released her debut EP, The Arrival in 2002 and toured New Zealand in R&B / Funk band Pure Funk during 1995 and 1996. Her second album, Movement is Essential, came out in 2008. She is also a well known model and “the first transgender girl to appear in music video clips and a Coca Cola commercial.”
Ramon’s storytelling was noted by Scoop Independent News as “strong, creative and visual.” Ramon’s most celebrated work from the program was the coverage of the 2011 death of activist Carmen Rupe. She had made a documentary of Rupe’s life in 2006. In 2008 she was one of several actors selected to portray Georgina Beyer, a trans woman who became the world’s first openly transsexual mayor, as well as the world’s first openly transsexual Member of Parliament, in a feature-length film. In 2009 The Making of Ramon was a Takatāpui-produced documentary about Ramon which was aired as part of Triangle TV’s Sunday Nights Out.
In 2005 Te Wake joined King Kapisi in presenting Pasifika 2005 festival, the biggest Polynesian culture festival in the world held in Auckland every year since 1992, it was televised on TV2.
In 2011 Te Wake directed a 25-minute video “Pacific Voices” for the NZ AIDS Foundation addressing issues and lives of Pacific LGBT people “such as identity, sexual health, bullying and family estrangement” the project “offers hope through mutual support and self-determination.”
LUKE BIRD as BIANCA
Luke is an award-winning vocalist with a penchant for musical theatre, Luke is a trained comedic actor and opera singer, known for his animated and fun character work and his role in the 2014 musical ‘Hairspray’ at Skycity Theatre.
Luke has a Bachelor Degree in Performing Arts and his diversity, passion and flare for entertaining has seen him take on a variety of roles from the exuberant Widow Twankey in Aladdin to singing alongside New Zealand’s finest with Opera North.
Luke is vocally trained by NZ Opera Diva Joan Kennaway QSM. He has also been the guest artist for the 2014 Opera in the Park Concert and the Opera Extravaganza ‘Opera in the Garden 2015’.
JOHNNY AUKUSITINO as ROGER
Johnny has had a number of interesting roles over the last few years. Including the NZ OPERA production “The Flying Dutchman”. The DA in Chicago. A lead in Over and Out, The Production Voyeur. Johnny brings that touch of dangerousness to his role. He is passionate about understanding his character and portraying him well.
Zakk D’larte as Twinkle
My passion is to push the boundaries of androgyny. This stems from my addiction to both the music and fashion of pop culture and the way they meticulously combine together. I take inspiration from the greatest of the greats: Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Michael Jackson and Andy Warhol and I hope that my creative work will take me to great places and I promise to share my success with the world.
Fashion is a deep passion of mine; I believe that to be a model, it takes more than just a pretty face. I think modelling is an expressive art form and tells a statement without words. I like to believe that I have fashion and style engraved into my heart.
“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” – David Bowie
Rose Rogers as Susan
Rose has seventeen years experience as a musical theatre performer proficient in singing, acting, and dancing – and has been fortunate enough to pursue it on a professional level since 2009. A love of screen acting also developed several years ago and she has been fortunate to win roles in Outrageous Fortune, Eruption, and The Almighty Johnsons. You may also recognise her as the “cat lady” from the NZTA anti-drug driving TV commercial!
Jack Barnard as Richard
Jack has had a passion for musical theatre ever since its introduction at Selwyn College. Since then he has been part of numerous shows as a musician in schools and amateur theatre, including Les Miserables, the NZ Premiere of ‘In the Heights’, Ragtime and The Producers. He also has played a number of roles for Selwyn Community Arts Theatre, from West Side Story to Guys and Dolls and in North Shore Music Theatre’s The Addams Family. Jack is a music tutor at Lewis Eady, playing trumpet, piano guitar and vocals.
Jayvee Plagunda as Monica
Jayvee is an international songstress. Awarded as Best Female Filipino Artist by the New Zealand Filipino Migrant Newspaper. Furthermore, recognised and sponsored by The Filipino Channel TFC – Philippines, Australia and New Zealand to compete globally, won as the Global Singing Idol 2013 . Represented New Zealand against over 60 Countries, for the World Championships Of Performing Arts at Los Angeles California USA. Jayvee was a Medalist and Awardee for Senior Vocalist representing New Zealand; Gold in Broadway, Silver in Pop, Bronze in Contemporary and Industry Special Award
Gemma Rushton as Elle
Gemma is 17 years old and attends Avondale College. She has been involved in acting since she was 3 weeks old, when she appeared in a TV commercial. Since then, she has appeared professionally in television commercials and singing engagements. On stage Gemma’s favourite roles have been, Swallow in ‘Whistle Down The Wind’ (PTC), Little Eponine in Les Miserables (PTC),Young Kim in Show Boat(AMT), ‘Barnum’ (Centrestage Theatre), and ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ (PTC). Gemma has been training in Ballet, Contemporary, and hip hop, for the past year and continues to develop her dance further. Aside from performing arts, Gemma is also a dog handler, and holds an international title and five national titles as a Junior Dog Handler.
Maryanne Rushton as Janine
Maryanne has worked professionally in television, theatre and film. Her love of theatre is an on-going passion, that keeps drawing her back on the stage. She has performed with many theatre company’s including, Papakura Theatre Company as Aunt Eller, in ‘Oklahoma’, for which she received a NAPTA nomination for Best Supporting Female in a Musical, an award which she won previously, for her portrayal of Madame Thernardier in Les Miserables, also with PTC. More of her favourite roles have included Irma, in ‘Irma La Douce’ (Auckland Music Theatre), Judy in ‘A Chorus Line’ (North Shore Music Theatre), April in ‘Company’ (Auckland Music Theatre), Maggie Jones in ‘42nd St’ (Harlequin Music Theatre), June in ‘Chicago’ (Centrestage Theatre), and Mrs Lyons in ‘Blood Brothers’ (North Shore Music Theatre). She has appeared on the television series ‘Shortland Street’ as Dr Gwendoline Ryder. Maryanne also works as a Make-up Artist and Special Effects Technician, credits include, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’, which won an Academy Award for Best Hair and Make-up.
Ezra Williams as Angie
Ezra is a performing arts graduate majoring in Acting/Theatre. She was part of a group to compete in a Hip Hop competition in Las Vagas taking second place. While qualifying she took part in many shows such as Fame, Nga Tau o te Manawa and Tauwhirowhiro. Her role in people like us is of a girl who has lost her boyfriend him believing he is gay. The signature duet “I Hardly Knew Him’. Demonstrates Ezra’s powerful exciting voice.