Performing at St Maximin, Provence, France, July 2014.
Tina performing in the 2014 clubroom season of ‘The World Goes Round’ for North Shore Music Theatre. As Patron of NSMT she is always keen to a part of a wonderful theatre cabaret show.
Tina performing with the NZ Pops Orchestra 2013
The Big Night In Concert in Dunedin 2012
Tina Cross The Face of ‘His + Her Anti Aging’ - the science of natural skincare
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Tina Cross as Gigi in ‘Miss Saigon’, presented by North Shore Music Theatre at Auckland's Civic Theatre.
Variety Club Television concert 2010.
I turned 50 on January 27th 2009 and I’m having a complete show off, via the fabulous NEXT Magazine. In the magazine, I discuss everything from aging graciously ( I hope ), to hormone issues. All the things we young women tend to face during mid life. I love it, 50 is definitely the new 40 – just ask the fabulous photographer Emma Bass. She can make anyone look 10 years younger!
Here I am again, fourteen years after first visiting the faded Glamour Cat, Grizabella. Actually I have come to love this character even more and I will never tire of singing Memory. This season of Cats at the magnificent Civic Theatre in Auckland, June 2009, has reminded me all over again of how much I love Musical Theatre – it is a blessing and may more wonderful satisfying roles come my way!!
Here it is, finally, the LadyKillers debut Album recorded at a live concert at the Bruce Mason Theatre, in November 2007. That is, all but 3 studio tracks – the title track, Black Is Black, recorded at Roundhead Studios in Auckland and the other two, Love In An Elevator and You Make me Feel Brand New, recorded with Jim Hall at Soundtrack Studios in Auckland. Huge thanks to everyone involved especially our live band, Grant Winterburn, Rob Galley, Karika Turua and Mickey Ututaonga. Click onto www.theladykillers.co.nz for more information. US OLD CHICKS ROCK!!
2008 started with a hiss and a roar with my inclusion in the celebrity line-up for Dancing With The Stars, 2008.
I had been asked 3 months prior and it took me precisely 1 day to make up my mind. First off, I love to dance and though I was concerned that the NZ public may view me as being a bit of a pro in this department, I was satisfied that my lack of training or rather, no formal dance lessons of any kind, put me in the fair contender category.
That said, off I went with my fabulous partner, Aaron Gilmore, who I had been secretly hoping to be matched with. After four weeks of rehearsal, we were into episode 1. I have to say, I love routine, I love a focus and I love a challenge, all of which, at 49 years old is easy in some ways and damn hard in others.
Mentally I knew I could hack it, physically I was sure I could too but surprisingly enough, if I’m totally honest, the show threw me off balance a little. I have no regrets however , only praise for all those contestants who have had the guts to go there. I asked for two things from DWTS, courage and graciousness and I achieved both!!
2006- 2008 Here we are – The LadyKillers. This is an almighty vocal quartet of dynamic, sexy, self assured, mature women. We think so anyway and although it’s about the vocal harmony beauty that we create it is also about the mutual love and respect that we have for each other. We have mixed and mingled careers for many years and now we are enjoying the magic that is the LadyKillers.
Watch this space for an upcoming album and National tour in 2008
Once Were Warriors, the stage musical was a hard call for all concerned. The public needed to move past the movie and come to see an honest stage adaptation with a young support cast who were the real thing. Jim Moriarty delivered a true to life version of this violent and intense story and yet I don’t believe we managed to convince Kiwis that this show was worth seeing. For me this was a chance to connect with my Maori roots, sink my teeth into an empowering role as an abused wife and mother and sing some wonderful original songs written by Christchurch composer, Richard Marrett.
Here are a few random Christmas In The Park shots – these date back to early 2000’s until 2006. As always my mate Jackie Clarke is a huge inspiration to me!!
Trisha and Stewart McPherson ( Stetsons ) came to the party again with a fabulous Disco show called Boogie Nights. This show had a mixed cast of British and Kiwi performers. I joined the cast in NZ and surprised myself by learning the show all but the hand jive, in just 3 days. I so loved this show – it took me right back to my disco queen days. There was nothing retro about it for me and I had 3 months reliving my youth.
2001 was a fantastic year – I played Roxy Hart in Stetsons Nation wide production of Chicago. The show was topical razzmatazz and Roxy was to die for and this was a singing, dancing, acting, musical theatre role handed to me virtually, on a silver platter. I was so lucky and this show kick started my conscious effort to stay in shape and healthy. I was fully aware that had I not looked the part, regardless of talent, I would never have been cast in this role.
In 1999 Jackie Clarke, Penny Dodd and I created Sirens, a theatrical intimate cabaret show devised for a season at the Spiegeltent. This was a challenging little show and quite daring from 2 diva’s and 1 Musician/MD
We sang up a storm and always knew we could rely on each other without fail. We also performed this show at the Taranaki Festival in 2001 and later on, with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Even if I say so myself this was a show full of style and panache from 3 damn good performers!
Pop Tarts was a great little pop group that took the best and worst of the 1980’s in terms of songs, dance, costumes, hair, you name it. Jackie Clarke, Kim Willoughby and myself originally got together as for pre rugby entertainment This went off so we remained the occasional Pop Tarts for several years between 1998 until 2005. We had a few changes in line-up along the way, but Jackie and I remained. The 80’s was so outrageously fabulous that we just kept wheeling it out we finally outgrew the concept. Excellent fun was had by all!
In January 1998 my family and I moved to Melbourne for the much acclaimed Australian debut of the Musical ‘Sisterella’. Now this is my favourite role of all the shows that I have performed in. My character was evil stepmother, Dahlia Kensington. She was sassy, bitchy and died a great death at the end of the show. It was a meaty role, the songs were phenomenal and my costumes and jewelry were to die for. I was totally in my element.
Unfortunately the show folded after 5 months and we headed back to NZ – no regrets though, what an experience!!
This is me as Grizabella in Cats – what an awesome role although difficult in that it required the big wait for the big song ‘Memory’, at the end of the show. There were of course other moments but all my energy was focused on singing that one big song. That same year I recorded a CD of musical theatre hits with cast members from both Rocky Horror and Cats – this was a real buzz. In 1995 between theses two shows, I was on the road for 11 months.
I have no idea why I didn’t do Musical Theatre sooner but finally I had the sense to reinvent myself. Musical Theatre was perfect for me – I loved to dance, though I’d had no formal training, and I wanted to act.
My first role was as Columbia in the 1995 NZ production of The Rocky Horror Show. The show toured NZ very successfully and though I learned heaps during this 5 month tour, I left 2 little children at home in Auckland. This was difficult but it didn’t stop me that same year, accepting my next theatre role as Grizabella in the NZ production of ‘Cats’ (see next shot)
This is the Koo De Tah 4th single sleeve ‘Think of Me’.
Following the disbanding of Koo De Tah, I went back to solo singing and had a ball working with some of Australia’s best musicians and dancers including the fabulous Kelly Abbey. I traveled to Indonesia, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, India, The Middle East and sang corporate, cabaret, concert - whatever was required. My years in Australia were full on exciting and full of variety. Later in 1990 my husband Wayne and I and our son Sean decided to move back to NZ and so began the next chapter of my life.
This is the Koo De Tah 3rd single sleeve ‘Missed You All Along’. This was my favourite.’
This is the Koo De Tah 2nd single sleeve, ‘Body Talk’.
Here is the ‘Koo De Tah’ album sleeve. I have to say that Leon wrote to suit my voice and the combination was magic but it was short lived. After 3 more mediocre single releases off this album, we disbanded. I was never cut out to be a touring party chick but the experience was a valuable lesson ’
Enter Leon Berger a songwriter who was looking for a chick singer to do justice to his songs. The year was 1984 and I had been finding my feet in Sydney. I had regular spots on TV shows but I was really hanging out for a record deal. After Leon and I demoed a couple of tracks we knew we could make good music together and sure enough our 1st single release from our new band ‘Koo De Tah’ charted in Melbourne and remained at No 1 there for 18 weeks. Nationally it made No 6 . – I was ecstatic.
This shot is the sleeve of our 1st single ‘Too Young For Promises’
This is a fabulous glamour shot – front page of one of the magazines in 1982. Not bad for the Maori girl from Otara! Following this shoot I flew back to Sydney where I had set up a home with my brother Mo.
My then boyfriend who eventually became my husband moved to Sydney in early 1983 and together we bought and renovated an inner city terrace house during my Oz career years.
This shot comes from my "Nothing But Dreams" 1960's show. If my memory serves me correctly during this period in my life, I was the skinniest I have ever been. Women remember things like that.
During this same period of moving to OZ and recording my TVNZ series, I was lucky enough to get a break into BBC TV. Between the end of 1982 and 1983 I recorded several guest appearances on Pebble Mill as well as my own BBC special titled Nightmusic. Life was good.
This shot comes from my TVNZ series titled ‘Nothing But Dreams’ and featured 6 episodes through the years, beginning with music from the 1890’s through to the 1980’s. By now I had moved to Australia and was most definitely a little fish in a big pond but luckily I had the NZ series to concentrate on and came back and spent 3 months in NZ in 1982, to record these shows. With me in this shot, is dear Chick Littlewood from the 1890’s show. He taught me a thing or two about skits – after all I was a mere young singer back then. Thank goodness for old school entertainers like Chick…they are rare these days.
This is the cover shot of my 2nd album released in 1980/81 simply titled TINA X. This was my venture into rock music. You could say I was trying to shake the girl next door image. Although the album sold well this departure from sweet little Tina was not embraced by the NZ public but hey this era was just the beginning of me growing as a singer/performer. It was worth the effort because I took the plunge and moved to Australia shortly after this record release. The way forward for me was change.
This shot of Sir Howard Morrison and myself is around 1980 – the year I performed for the Queen and Prince Phillip. Sir Howard took a huge kapahaka group, band and performers on the road for the Tu Tangata National Tour. I have always admired Sir Howard as he was and still is not only the consummate professional but he was also responsible for many great initiatives that have bound Maori and Pakeha together through his genuine support of true talent and creative music.
Here is my first album titled ‘You Can Do It’. This was released toward the end of 1979 and was perfectly timed. I had already had 2 top 10 hits and I had signed a $50,000.00 international record deal with Polygram Records. The world was my oyster and looking back I don’t think I expected anything else but success. How naïive but my ignorance was bliss!
1979 was definitely a fabulous year – I performed at the Auckland Town hall with Sammy Davis Jnr. He was very gracious and asked for my manager and myself to come to his dressing room for a chat after the show and he really turned on the fascinating Sammy charm. He said on stage at the end of his performance “Of my young co-star, I thought she would be good, not great”
Oh to be young and reaching for the stars….this was truly a magical time in my life.
Here is the cover of my 3rd single – a 45 vinyl record "Nothing But Dreams."
The Pacific Song Contest and I was wearing, "that dress". I had just arrived back in New Zealand after a 5 week tour of the USA with Sir Howard Morrison and whanau, Rob Guest, Derek Metzger and Kim Hart. The girl from Otara (me) had had her first taste of international travel, hotels, and a pretty good wage packet. I came back to NZ to perform Carl Doy’s song, "Nothing But Dreams" and we won, beating Australia by only 2 points. Wow, this was my year and in retrospect it was the highlight of my ‘young career’.
This shot comes from a series called "Top Of The World" and it was my first lengthy gig after leaving school. I was employed for around 6 months in 1977 to be a regular performer on this show. Even though the show was canned after 6 months, it made me realize that my career as a full time singer\performer, was here to stay. I hoped I would never have to get a real job and except for Motherhood, I never have.
Here I am, a young fresh faced 16 year old still in school and doing the telly thing. Those days are gone – you need a recording contract or perhaps a top ten place in NZ Idol to get TV exposure these days. So will Idol return – if not, another show that is a vehicle for up and coming talented singers would be good.
This show was one of the many TVNZ shows that I performed on during my 7th form year at Penrose High in 1976. I truly can’t remember the name of this particular one but I do remember the girl on my left was Susan Dalziel. I wonder what she is up to these days. Check out the twin outfits.
I attended Penrose High School from 1974 – 1977 and one of the highlights of my school years was singing in the school band 'Chalkdust'. I was one of two chick singers in the band alongside Kim Hart who has gone on to a successful career in Australia. In 1975 Chalkdust auditioned for Opportunity Knocks and while the band was never used, Kim and I were and so began my career on TVNZ. I was 16 years old, naive and had no fear.