International Cabaret season returning to Auckland

Auckland’s central city is about to explode with glitz and glamour for eighteen evocative nights of world-class cabaret! From Aotearoa to across the globe, Auckland Live International Cabaret Season has enticed a posse of disco divas, glamour animals, rock opera stars, Broadway musical greats and the brightest musical talents - lost but not forgotten.
Topping the bill is the highly anticipated global festival phenomenon – Velvet. Championing the wild excesses and disco ball glamour of the 70’s, Velvet promises to be THE party of the year.  Boasting an exhilarating disco soundtrack laced with disco divas and sizzling chanteuses - including ARIA Award winner Marcia Hines, Velvet will transform Q Theatre into a glitzy nightclub reminiscent of New York’s Studio 54. Award-winning Smoke & Mirrors director, Craig Ilott, leads an international ensemble to create “the most stupendously brilliant show you will ever see in your life” - Sydney Morning Herald.
The heartbeat of cabaret continues on the Queen Street strip with an incredible line-up on offer at Auckland Town Hall. Kicking off the shenanigans, a salute to the mighty David Bowie – Starman. Berlin ‘glamour animal’ Sven Ratze has toured the world starring live on stage with legends like Nina Hagen and the Asko Schönberg Ensemble. Ratze’s Starman offers a wild, irreverent, and scandalous ride into the centre of one of the world’s most bohemian and exceptional rock artists.
In an exciting new partnership with Adelaide International Cabaret Festival, Auckland Live has discovered a gem of a show written and directed by Cabaret luminary and respected treasure of the Australian arts, Robyn Archer. Showcasing the music and prose of some of our modern greats including Jeff Buckley, Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, Nick Drake, Bobby Darin, The Sound of Falling Stars takes audiences on a journey through a bewitching tale of excess, loss, blinding talent and incredible artistry. Award winning actor, singer and musician Cameron Goodall is the tour de force behind showcasing the range of these incredible artists. 
Also crossing the Tasman is the bittersweet and hedonistic journey of one of Broadway’s most iconic composers, Cole Porter. Performed by 2016 Helpmann Award-winner, Michael Griffiths, Cole transports audiences back in time to revel in a Hollywood of old, where glamour ruled supreme and ‘let’s misbehave’ was merely a soundtrack to ordinary life.
NZ talent shines brightly with return seasons of some of our finest creative forces. Tui Award-nominated songwriter and award-winning composer Paul McLaney reimagines Shakespeare’s soliloquies with music for Play On. From the team behind Fly My Pretties, McLaney has brought together some stunning Kiwi talent including Julia Deans, Laughton Kora and Ria Hall.
Triple threat Esther Stephens headlines the smash-hit rock musical That Bloody Woman, as it returns to Auckland for three nights only to celebrate the suffragette movement with maximum attitude.
Our favourite underground space, Basement Theatre, gets the blood pumping! Direct from the UK, last year’s favourite cabaret diva Miss Frisky (from Frisky & Mannish; La Soiree) returns with Miss Frisky’s Karaoke Experience. This world premiere from one of the biggest voices in the international cabaret scene promises the most riotous fun. Directed by Jennifer Ward-Lealand,Super HUGH-Man – The Legend Lives On is a Māori musical which boasts mutants and a tired wolverine family, as they battle against evil. Last but not least, Pacific drag artist Spencer Papali’i shoos away negative stigmatism, as O A’u (It’s Me) commands the stage.
Auckland Live Programme Development producer, Janelle Bish says, “We celebrate a fourth Cabaret Season in Auckland with outstanding international and local artists fusing to twist, expand, contemporise and question the cabaret art form. 2017 sees musical talent combine with storytelling and fantastical escapism.  Our partnerships with Q Theatre and The Basement Theatre mean that the central city will be a hub of live performances across a range of spaces and styles. We invite you in to experiment and savour the season.”

Auckland Live International Cabaret Season
14 September – 1 October 2016
Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall
Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street
The Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave
Tickets from $18 - $85