Oamaru Operatic Society’s Chicago, chin-deep in dirty deeds and all that jazz, opens at the Oamaru Opera House on Friday night. In the countdown to the opening night of the hit musical, Oamaru Mail reporter Jessie Waite catches up with some of the principal cast members…
David Blair has lived in the Waitaki District all his life, being raised in Tokarahi before moving to Oamaru and starting work with the then Waitaki County Council (now the Waitaki District Council) where he still works.
His first foray into musical theatre was in 1981 in Hello Dolly with the Oamaru Operatic Society. Blair said he was “conned into it” by Lynette Budge, but was hooked and has been in various Operatic and Repertory Society productions since.
Who do you play in Chicago?
Amos Hart. Amos is the unappreciated husband of Roxie Hart. He is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but is completely devoted to his wife.
Have you found any similarities between yourself and the character?
After referring to his less than average mental capacity, I have to answer ‘no’ to this question except for the part about being devoted to the wife.
What have you enjoyed the most about being a part of Chicago?
The people involved. They are a great bunch from some fairly diverse backgrounds.
I also like watching Duncan Whiting, our director, bring the best out in his cast. He gets people to do things they never thought they could or would. And Anneke de Geest’s baking, has anyone mentioned that?
What has been the biggest challenge for you during rehearsals?
Fitting rehearsals in after some new challenges came up at work after I had auditioned for the part.
When you aren’t busy at rehearsal or working, what do you enjoy doing in the Waitaki District?
I enjoy going out hunting with my son, Ryan, although in our case lately, it’s more like taking the gun for a walk. I just like being active in the outdoors. I like spending time with my family (clichéd, but true), usually, although teenage hormone rushes can make it quite exciting.
If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
My dad, no explanation required.