Tag Archives: cabaret

been | Cole

How much charisma does it take to fill the Auckland Town Hall? If you’re David Mitchell, consider the building bursting.

The spirit of Cole Porter lives in Mitchell, who has been portraying Porter for 3 years in this show. From the moment Mitchell stepped onstage – complete with Porter-esque limp – the spell was cast for an hour of marvellous musical magic.

As with the best cabaret, all of the glamour and fun of the genre combined beautifully with hints of melancholy as Mr Porter regaled us with the highs and lows of his life and career; taking in Paris, New York, a marriage of convenience, love lost and found, and the riding accident that nearly ended his career. These moments, retold wittily and wistfully, but never self-pityingly, were touchingly revealing, and Porter’s greatest hits are cleverly woven into the narrative, musically illustrating the story.

Typically matinee audiences are subdued, but Mitchell in mischievous style alternately teased, cajoled and affectionately bullied the assembly until we were transformed into his own private singalong chorus. A gorgeous setting – complete with glittering curtains at the doors, romantic lighting, roses on the tables, and a particularly well-deployed mirrorball– completed the spell.

Like the most pleasing of parties, the hour flew by in the blink of an eye. I didn’t want it to end. Five stars.

Grab tickets HERE.

interviewed | The fabulous Miss Frisky

Miss Frisky is gracing Auckland again this month for two evenings of karaoke cabaret nonsense, vocal pyrotechnics, and riotous fun. You may remember her from the British musical comedy cabaret double act – Frisky & Mannish – who performed at last year’s Auckland Live International Cabaret Season.

This time, the audience gets to choose the playlist during her performance! The show is all about classic music and why we love it so much. It will allow the audience to offer their random favourite songs, and express why they love certain tracks so much. Miss Frisky admitted: “It’s about getting to use me as a human jukebox and hear your favourites belted live, right in your face.”

When I asked her what she has lined up for the audience, she replied: “Really, it’s about what the audience have lined up for me! I genuinely do not know what I will be singing, it’s in the hands of the audience and I know we’ll all have a brilliant time together.”

After extensive research into interactive technologies, Miss Frisky and her team have decided that the audience will let them know their choice of songs by writing on a post-it note, and sticking it to their heads. Miss Frisky told me how incredibly efficient this method is, “and everyone looks suitably ridiculous, so I enjoy it,” she said. “I’ll then choose whichever songs I feel like singing. Bribes will be accepted.”

Along with the show, she’s super excited to be back in Auckland to visit Ponsonby’s food market, boutiques and brunch spots. She loves Karangahape Road’s vintage shops and the Wharf’s killer oysters and seafood. She also spoke very highly of Waiheke’s vineyards but will be looking for new adventures this year. She said: “All the best days out I’ve had, were suggested by Auckland locals, so write it on a post-it and stick it to your head, please.”

She is one of the biggest voices in cabaret and has performed all over the world, but she still gets nervous. She said: “What’s extra-nerve-racking about the show I’m doing here, is that I am totally in the audience’s hands. We will be making something unique every night, so comfort won’t really be coming into it! But the nerves are the thing that give you superpowers – I cannot wait to see what happens.”

Miss Frisky

Miss Frisky

Miss Frisky performs in Miss Frisky’s Karaoke Experience from Friday the 15th to Saturday the 16th of September at 8pm in Basement Theatre. Buy your tickets here.

After Auckland, Miss Frisky will fly back to London for a short time, before heading to Berlin to host a nightly dinner cabaret show, drink gluhwein and eat currywurst until March 2018.

She said: “I won’t be able to do more karaoke for a little while, so it’s going to be very very special doing these shows.”

 

Been | Birds of Paradise

Well this one really was a feast for the eyes, New Zealand’s very own burlesque cabaret comedy company; a show full of fun, feathers and frivolity. I was so impressed by the collection of bizarre and fantastical creatures that filled the stage that I could barely keep my mouth closed. The men were jaw-droppingly gorgeous and the women were all incredibly talented and beautiful dancers/singers. I am totally not one for musicals, but this camp ballet rendition of David Attenborough and his episode on the Papua New Guinean Bird of Paradise was really special. Having watched the doco where Attenborough demonstrates how a Papua New Guinean tribe perform their coupling ritual dances and songs, inspired by the mating dance of the Bird of Paradise, this performance was a step further; people actually pretending to be the birds and performing the dances as birds.

The show took place in the Town Hall Concert chamber, a faux baroque room which made a perfect setting for the flamboyant costumes, especially the butterfly on stilts who moved through the crowds at various moments. Split in two by an interval, the first part introduced us to David Attenborough (the actor looked like Noel Fielding) and his watching of the Birds and witnessing the impregnation of a lady bird, followed by her male counterpart running off and snogging another bird in the corner. This dramatic event  was followed by the pregnant birdy in her awesome pink onesy dancing to Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” with her two sisters. This scene was closely followed by a lady birdwatcher dressed as a tui meeting David Attenborough in the forest and commenting on his equipment, “Oh what enormous binoculars!” and Attenborough replying “Would you like to hold them?” – we then saw the ‘real’ Tui who was a devilishly sexy woman in shimmery gear. Never thought I would see a Tui in nipple tassles! The second half began with the funeral of a buzzard who was then resurrected and able to continue his pursuit of a woman in the audience with Another Level’s “I wanna get freaky with you” in the background.

The show was a string of innuendos and ballet interpretations of bird fornication. It made for hilarious watching and despite the surreal nature of the performance, there was enough of a story to carry the audience through to the end, feeling the ups and downs of love and relationships in bird world. Plus the accompanying music was great with a mix of Bonobo, Nils Frahm and Lorde setting the atmosphere. If I were to give stars, this one would get the full set!