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Read: City of 100 Lovers

City of 100 Lovers is a musical about an American divorcee and food critic sent to Auckland to judge a cooking contest. Despite her cynical view of New Zealand she is captivated by the city’s charm and the friendly locals.  There are dramas, misunderstandings, a villain, a sexpot and two mildly star-crossed lovers.

The cast are very talented and capable and the leads Rebecca Cullinan and Kieran Foster are stand-outs. They are ably supported by their co-stars Welsley Dowdell, Bryony Skillington and Adam Burrell.

The costumes in the show are superbly done and the use of movable sets and projection screens in clever ways gives this production a slick and international feel to it.

I’d say most of the music is good, though the songs that I’d call typical ‘Broadway’ numbers were weaker than the ones that were genuinely rooted in both standard kiwi and Maori culture.

Because of this, for me the stand out moments were these:

We Don’t Like To Boast’ – a hilarious song taking the piss out of our passive aggressive habit of claiming we are all so shy and self-deprecating. Easily the strongest piece of comedy in the entire show.

Under The Sea’ – a musical interlude featuring glowing sea creatures and an incredibly funny and unexpected encounter with a moray eel.

What’s Wrong With A Fling?’ – a superb comedic song and dance routine starring a plus sized vamp who can belt out a torchsong.

Also worth a mention – a beautifully haunting and pared back version of ‘Pokarekare Ana’ and the energetic ‘You Wanna Piece Of This?’ which featured an all female haka that was stunning. 

Weakest moment:

An overly long cooking contest that doesn’t quite gel despite the talent of the performers.


It’s hard to know exactly what’s the purpose of this show. Is it a standard musical? Is it a promotional extravaganza for Auckland? 

City of 100 Lovers never quite answers that question, but it has some good performances and some catchy music. If you want a little distraction, some fun and an upbeat, yet simple story, then this could be the show for you.


17 Oct 2018 – 9th Jan 2019

SKYCITY Theatre – Auckland


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