Previous Theatre Shows
Ali was excited to launch her double CD Naughty and Nice in the first few months of 2013. The album was released on the 23rd of April 2013. The recording weekend was booked for March, with a fantastic team of musicians.Find out more
Songs for Nobodies: June-July 2017
Share five life-changing encounters between legendary divas and the everyday women whose lives they touched, interspersed with their iconic songs.
Songs for Nobodies is a one-of-a-kind showcase that reminds us that everybody has a story - and a song - worth hearing.
"Here is a reminder for we foolish mortals who forgot (or forgot to remember), that a gorgeous, gifted goddess walks among us. And her name is Ali Harper.... From belting out a stirring Non, je ne regrette rien to delivering a moving and disturbing jazz trio of Strange Fruit, Lady Sings the Blues and Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do, Harper is nothing short of sublime...They’re all so, so good but as Callas, she is show-stopping".
Margaret Agnew, Christchurch What's Up Theatre Reviewer, 18th June 2017
"This remarkably assured production does not rely on props, flamboyant makeup, loud costume changes or fireworks, it relies on sheer talent – on the hard won decades-long accumulated skills of acting, singing, voice work, stage presence and dramaturgical acumen of Ali Harper. In fact there would be few performers who could manage this production but Ali Harper wears it like a glove which could have been fashioned for her and for her alone".
"Like so many, I have enjoyed Ali Harper's performances over many years but in this production we are transfixed by a performer at her peak. In fact she is so good that at times, I hardly recognise her – she has become the alter egos she represents. Ten personalities, ten accents, varying from New York, mid-West, England and Ireland. And she channels the essence of each of the five musical legends in posture and song. What a vocal range, what fine handling of the various styles she has to sing, what poise and stage presence she brings to each vignette. What an absolute star".
Grant Hindin Miller, Theatreview, 18th June 2017
A Doris Day Special: T-Train Tour May 2017
Ali took her critically acclaimed one-woman show A Doris Day Special to four North Island towns in May 2017 (Taupo, Tauranga Thames and Taupo).
Taupo - Great Lake Centre, Wednesday 3rd of May 2017 (7.30pm)
Tauranga - Baycourt Addison Theatre, Thursday 4th of May 2017 (7pm)
Thames - War Memorial Civic Centre, Friday 5th of May 2017 (7pm)
Takapuna - Bruce Mason Centre Theatre, Saturday 13th (8pm) and Sunday 14th of May 2017 (2pm)
The T Train Tour - A Doris Day Special - Trailer
Legally Blonde: Nov 2016 - January 2017
At The Court Theatre, Christchurch - November 26 2016 - January 21 2017.
A Doris Day Special: October 2016
Rangiora Town Hall - October 14, 2pm and 7.30pm
A Doris Day Special: October 2016
Palmerston North's Regent Theatre - October 2.
A Doris Day Special: May 2016
New Plymouth - 4th Wall Theatre, May 20
Hamilton - Clarence Street Theatre, May 27 and 28
A Doris Day Special / Legendary Divas May 2016
SIT, Christchurch: 11 and 12 April 2016
Ali was excited to bring 2 of her shows to the Southland Arts Festival in May 2016.
A Doris Day Special and Legendary Divas.
A Doris Day Special: April / May 2016
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 24 April, 01 May and 8 May
At The Court Theatre for 6 shows only...
With her bubbly personality, lilting voice and blond beauty, Doris Day was America's singing sweetheart of the silver screen during the 1950s and 1960s.
Her hits songs Sentimental Journey, Secret Love and Que Sera Sera, Doris Day was for many years ranked as the number 1 female box-office star in the world.
It's 1971 and Doris is filming her Television Special. You are invited to be part of 'A Doris Day Special' television studio audience and celebrate the life and songs of that quintissential girl next door.
The Court Theatre Productions were proudly sponsored by Walker Davey Ltd
The making of the music: recording with the Big Band, March 2016.
Mary Poppins: December 2015
Christchurch: 21 November 2015 - 30 January 2016
Ali really enjoyed being involved in the Court Theatre Christmas Production of Mary Poppins. The season ran from November 21, 2015 until January 23, 2016.
A bit about the show
Mary Poppins is bringing her trusty umbrella to The Court Theatre stage in this Disney-rific smash-hit musical for fans of all ages. Mary Poppins is based on the beloved books by P.L. Travers and the classic 1964 Walt Disney film.
The practically perfect Mary Poppins arrives at 17 Cherry Tree Lane after George and Winifred Banks’ wild and out of control children, Jane and Michael, have driven away yet another nanny. With some help from the chimney-sweep Bert, Mary Poppins leads the family through a series of magical encounters and adventures that they will never forget.
With spectacular songs A Spoonful of Sugar, Chim Chim Cher-ee and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, it was a must-see musical for the entire family!
Mamma Mia: June 2015
Hamilton: 19 June 2015 - 04 July 2015
A Mother. A Daughter. 3 Possible Dads. And a trip down the aisle you'll never forget!
Over 54 million people all around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make MAMMA MIA! the ultimate feel-good show!
The tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings 3 men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.
The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. Every night everyone’s having the time of their lives!
Director David Sidwell, musical supervisor Alex Wiltshire, and choreographer Sonja Mc Girr-Garrett will bring this all new production to life.
Starring international performers Ali Harper as Donna Sheridan and Russell Dixon as Sam Carmichael supported by an exceptionally talented local cast.
Here's Ali promoting the show.
14 second voiceover
30 second voiceover
Bombshells: October 2014
New York: 17 October 2014
Ali performed Bombshells at the prestigious United Solo Festival, the largest solo festival in the world.
The performance was on the 17th of October, 2014 @ 9pm on 42nd Street.
Ali was acknowledged by her performance with the 'Best Actress Award' from the festival organisers.
Bombshells: October 2014
Christchurch: 7 & 8 October 2014
Ali is taking the award winning one woman play 'Bombshells' to NYC in October. She has been invited to perform at the prestigious United Solo Festival, the largest solo festival in the world on 42nd Street.
Before she went to NYC Ali performed to 2 sellout crowds ar Rangi Ruru Theatre in ChCh... a perfect warm-up for NYC.
This event was supported by Singapore Airlines
Here's some snippets of Ali performing in this award-winning one-woman play last year.
Oklahoma: August 2014
Nationwide: 15 August 2014 – 7 September 2013
"The spark between Ado Annie (Ali Harper) and Will (Stefan Olivieri) is fantastic... "
"Standouts are Cameron Douglas, whose tone and voice is just lovely, and Ali Harper, who brings so much emotion to her role..."
Maraea Rakuraku, Theatreview, 29th August 2014
Blood Brothers: June 2014
Court Theatre, Christchurch: 22 June 2014 – 2 August 2014
Ali and her two boys
The West End's longest running musical tells the compelling and heart wrenching story of an unlikely friendship between twins separated at birth, and a mother's burden strong enough to break the bonds of motherhood.
Ali talks to NewstalkZB’s Chris Lynch about her role in Blood Brothers, 01 July 2014.
"The cast is excellent across the impressive boards (the set is exceptional), with Harper and Matt Pike’s Narrator – the ever-present, black-clad harbinger stalking the cast from the shadows – scorching the stage with blistering performances" Cityscape, 30 June 2014.
"The show is held together by a standout performance by Ali Harper as the matriarch. She has a fantastic voice, and judges the role well as a still and loving centre at a whirlwind of youth" Charlie Gates, Christchurch Press, July 1 2014.
"There is a fine rendition of the two mothers, especially by Ali Harper as the solo mother in a low socio-economic envoronment in Liverpool, who displayed her usual stunning voice in the songs" Barry Southam, The Star, July 11 2014.
"Ali Harper is magnificent as Mrs Johnston... you would be hard pressed to find a better Mrs Johnston on any stage, anywhere..."
Mamma Mia: May 2014
Regent Theatre, Dunedin: 22 May 2014 – 31 May 2014
Ali played the lead role of Donna and enthusiastic crowds broke box office records for the 10 performances of this standout show.
Read an article in the Otago Daily Times here:
Artist in residence: Rangi Ruru Girls 2014
February - May 2014:
Ali was Artist in Residence at Rangi Ruru Girls School in Christchurch, as mentor and support for their production of ‘Cats’
“What possibilities... Ali is a consummate professional and not only has the skills our girls will absorb like sponges, but has a wonderful personality and teaching style.”
Robert Gilbert, Director of Theatre Arts at Rangi-Ruru Girls School
Fairystories: play reading 2014
23 March 2014: 4.30 and 7.30 pm
Bombshells: NZ Tour 2013
Nationwide: 01 Oct 2013 – 21 Dec 2013
Ali took Joanna Murray-Smith's Bombshells play back on the road again in October, November and December 2013. From the far north to the deep south Ali performed 33 shows in 20 different venues to some very appreciative audiences
Brief synopsis of the play
Savvy, sexy and exquisitely crafted, Bombshells is a one-woman play which humorously exposes six women balancing the demands of their inner and outer lives with funny and touching portrayals of the modern female. Ali takes audiences on a journey through six shades of the modern woman – in life and love. From feisty teenager to beleaguered mother to a 64-year-old widow who reawakens an appetite for the unexpected; the intensely clever writing wittily strips away polite veneers to reveal social pressures and hidden desires.
This internationally successful play is a truly fresh look at the modern woman.
Here's Ali talking about Bombshells before the Tour with The Coasts Brian Kelly http://www.thecoast.net.nz/player/ondemand/bombshells
Video of Bombshells performance, 2013 Tour
Snippets of Ali performing in this award-winning one-woman play.
The Pirates of Penzance: NZ Tour 2013
Nationwide: 23 Aug 2013 – 11 Sep 2013
Performances in Ashburton, Oamaru, Invercargill, Dunedin, Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Auckland and Whangarei
Gilbert and Sullivan's PIRATES OF PENZANCE will set sail around New Zealand in August and September, directed by Raymond Hawthorne and featuring an all-star cast including George Henare (Modern Major General), Tim Beveridge (Pirate King), Geraldine Brophy (Sgt of Police), Helen Medlyn (Ruth) and Ali Harper (Major General’s daughter). The roles of Mabel (the young gorgeous leading lady) will be played by award-winning young actress/soprano Tizane McEvoy while the gorgeous young man will be played by Cameron Barclay.
PIRATES OF PENZANCE follows the fortunes of Frederic, a young lad who is mistakenly apprenticed to the Pirate King. When Frederic falls for the lovely Mabel, whose father is the very model of a modern Major General, a tempest brews on the sea of love.
Full of roving rogues and dazzling damsels in distress, it's a treasure chest full of mischievous musical mayhem. A topsy-turvy tale of love and duty highlighted by the famous strains of "Poor Wandering One," "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General," "Oh, Is There Not One Maiden Breast" and more.
Funny, flirty and filled with bumbling pirates it’s no wonder the Gilbert and Sullivan was such a hit when it premiered in 1879 — and why, decades later, it remains a favorite on stages throughout the world.
Grease: Christmas Production 2012
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 01 Dec 2012 – 31 Jan 2013
Ali decided to have a blast over summer and sing and jive herself silly in The Court Theatre’s big summer musical GREASE! As the lovely Ms Lynch...
Directed by Ross Gumbley and Stephen Robertson: Musical Direction by Richard Marrett.
'Calendar Girls' 2012
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 17 Mar 2012 – 28 Apr 2012
A small Yorkshire chapter of the Women’s Institute has a plan to raise funds for charity: a calendar. But when they decide to go “all out” in their fundraising efforts, these ordinary women expose more than they ever planned.
A record-breaking international smash hit, CALENDAR GIRLS is an extraordinary feel-good comedy based on an inspirational true story.
Side by Side BY Sondheim 2012
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 11 February 2012 – 3 March 2012
A musical revue featuring the songs of prolific Broadway and film composer Stephen Sondheim at the new Court Theatre the ‘Shed’.
"...Ali Harper is the standout performer. She carries off the tongue-tangling 'Getting Married Today' with one part musicality
to two parts comic timing, then moves effortlessly into a restrained "Send in the Clowns'..."
Faith Oxenbridge "The Listener"
Click here to Ali's rendition of 'Send in the Clowns'.
Click here to see a review that was in ‘The Listener’ on the 27/02/2012.
A Short Cut to Happiness 2011 - 2012
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 10 December 2011 – 28 January 2012
The NZ premiere of Roger Hall’s latest smash hit play at the new Court Theatre the ‘Shed’ in Addington. Click here for more details and / or to make a booking.
See the following story on TV3 news 07/12/2011 (Court theatre rises from the ashes). Also, see the following review from a ‘fantastic’ opening night on the 10th Of December 2011 (Uplifting and optimistic humour).
"...Ali Harper holds the piece together - seemingly effortlessly - with her passionate, stroppy, sexy and completely convincing Natasha..."
Faith Oxenbridge "The Listener"
‘The Listener’ also wrote a shortcut to happiness review on the 05/01/2012.
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 27 August 2010 – 25 September 2010
"As prize manipulator Ingrid, Ali Harper is her zesty self"
Lindsay Clark, Theatreview
On the Rocks 2010
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 19 June 2010 – 17 July 2010
"His passion is echoed and enhanced by the omnivorous appetites of Ali Harper's Frieda.
Moreover, since she is German, she is the target of the wider world's mistrust, enhancing the precariousness of the Lawrentian stand.
The energy and warmth we have seen from Harper in musicals translates into a vivid role here
and some of the inevitable poignant moments are hers".
Lindsay Clark, Theatreview
On the Rocks reviews:
On the Rocks radio interview
Audio from The Arts on Sunday: 13 Jun 2010
‘I Love You You're Perfect, Now Change!’ 2009
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 13 June 2009 – 18 July 2009
"Ali Harper is rapidly becoming a national treasure in the world of musical theatre"
Lindsay Clark, Theatreview
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! review:
Bombshells North Island Tour: Jul – Sep 2008
Winner of the Chapman Tripp Actress of the Year 2008
“As the title suggests, this is a bombshell of a show, energetic with pace and pizazz, mixing humour with pathos, showing six women running the full gamut of emotions that most women go through at some point in their lives…… Harper’s phrasing, use of pauses and intonation of key words through these pieces is exquisite, making the portrayal of these characters totally captivating”.
Dominion Post 30th July 2008
"In this production the ‘blonde bombshell’ turns out to be its solo performer Ali Harper: a truly dynamic talent… Bombshells offers an extremely entertaining insight into the lives of six women in the post feminist era. It’s a huge challenge for one actress (elsewhere multiple actors are sharing the roles) and Ali Harper meets it with alacrity, using her formidable skills to show us the women rather than vice versa".
Theatre News by John Smyth: 24th July 2008
"Harper and her team have done more than justice to this piece in a polished, professional presentation, her finely tuned performance never missing a beat. Well known for her work in musical theatre, Harper shows in this production that not only does she excel at song and dance routines but she is an exceptionally versatile actor as well".
Dominion Post by Ewen Coleman: 30th July 2008
"…each of the six roles in this solo show fits her as tight as the wedding day corset she wears at one stage. And if you think that’s impressive, these roles span six decades and none of the aging (backwards or forwards in time) is done with make-up. It’s all her formidable acting ability…. they’re all treasures, performed with such depth and gusto that you care for each and every one".
Capital Times by Lynn Freeman: 6th August 2008
Read Ali’s comments on Bombshells: A woman for all seasons
Read the Bombshell reviews:
John Smythe: Theatreview, 27 Jul 2008
Ewan Coleman: Evening Post, 30 Jul 2008
Lynn Freeman: Capital Times, 06 Aug 2008
Elspeth Sandys, NZ Listener 16 Aug 2008
Jesma Magill: Howick and Pakuranga Times, 04 Sep 2008
Lesley Staniland: Bay of Plenty Times, 18 Sep 2008
BOMBSHELLS also toured in 2007 around the South Island, at The Court Theatre, Christchurch & at Centrepoint Theatre in Palmerston North.
BOMBSHELLS 2007 TOUR: North & South Island (Theatre)
"So good was Harper's performance, that by simply changing into a slightly frumpish costume and putting on a felt hat, it was hard to believe the character was being played by the same actress. In fact each character was so well conceived and portrayed that anyone could be excused for believing there were six actresses on show¦…By selecting a particular mannerism for each character, Harper ensured that each character was unique. Subtle changes in posture and vocal delivery along with the costume changes made each of the women portrayed incredibly real and believable".
Marlborough Express: 2 March 2007
"For many actors, the mere thought of a solo performance is enough to prevent them doing it, and for good reason. What could be more demanding and testing of your talents than to put yourself before an audience for two hours or so without a safety net? Madness. Nobody there to bounce off, nobody to rely on but yourself. You could sink like a stone. But then, what a buzz if you nail it. Ali Harper must be buzzing like a beehive. Bombshells has given her the opportunity to show exactly what a versatile and commanding performer she is. Harper's timing was impeccable, her delivery polished, her stagecraft spot on".
The Nelson Mail: 7 March, 2007
Ali Harper is clearly an actor near the top of her game. In this performance the evidence is all there for the audience to see her ability to memorise two hours of dialogue, her sense of comic timing, and the way she brings diverse character roles to life.
In her performance as a cabaret singer she is able to display not only her comic ability but also her amazing voice.
Greymouth Star: 12 March 2007
Guys and Dolls 2006/ 2007
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 30 November 2006 10 February 2007
Backwards In High Heels 2006
The Court Theatre, Court Theatre: 12 August - 9 September 2006
Jacques Brel 2005 is alive and well and living in Paris
Circa Theatre, Wellington: 25 June 2005 – 23 July 2005
Jerry’s Girls 2005
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 5 Mar 2005 – 9 Apr 2005
The Rocky Horror Show 2004/ 2005
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 27 Nov 2004 – 5 Feb 2005
Rocky Horror review:
Review by Alex Robinson, and a review by Tim Bain
New Zealand Tour: Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Napier, Wellington
20 Aug 2004 – 26 Oct 2004
The Sound of Music 2003/ 2004
The Court Theatre & James Hay Theatre Christchurch 29 Nov 2003 – 7 Feb 2004
South Pacific 2002/ 2003
The Court Theatre & James Hay Theatre, Christchurch: 30 Nov 2002 – 1st Feb 2003
My Fair Lady 2001/ 2002
The Court Theatre, Christchurch: 1 Dec 2001 – 16 Feb 2002
Song & Dance 2002
State Opera House, Wellington: 7 Jun 2002 – 15 Jun 2002
Tell Me On A Sunday 1999
Court Theatre, Christchurch: 15 Apr 1999 – 8 May 1999
Circa Theatre, Wellington: 2 Oct 1998 – 24 Oct 1998