SCENE BY JAMES: 2017 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 29, 2017
[Theatre by the Numbers] 150,000 Aucklanders can’t be wrong, right? These are the approximate combined totals of audiences who flocked to the Pop-up Globe and Pleasuredome: The Musical in 2017. Compare that with the record-breaking 130,000 who went to Adele’s Auckland concerts this year. And that’s not even including the Globe’s jump across the Tasman, where their productions are still […]

REVIEW: Atamira (Atamira Dance Company)

December 19, 2017
[Ways of knowing Death] The passing of a beloved is always is painful. From the body’s disintegration to its last breathe, to what lies beyond, for both the dead and those left to mourn it is as unfathomable as it is matter of fact. Sacred ritual provides a means to negotiate this pathway. Atamira Dance Company’s work, Atamira, choreographed by […]

REVIEW: Two Hearts: Auckland World Tour (NZ Music Theatre Company)

December 15, 2017
[Half-Hearted] Following a successful run at this year’s New Zealand Comedy Festival, Laura Daniel and Joseph Moore have brought their hit musical comedy Two Hearts back for another season. Maybe it’s a sign of my accelerating decrepitude, but for about the first half of the show I was not really feeling this one. And it has a lot to do with the […]

REVIEW: Santa Claus (The Basement)

December 14, 2017
[Ho Ho No] Aside from the Auckland Theatre Awards (a.k.a. the Hackmans), The Basement Christmas Show is the theatrical highlight of the holiday season. Each year, the Basement Theatre commissions the hottest theatrical talent to create a holiday hit that not only sees a smorgasbord of Auckland theatre practitioners and celebrities take to the stage, but also operates as an […]

REVIEW: Midnight (APO and The Dust Palace)

December 12, 2017
[Ballet in the Sky] It seemed an unlikely combination when this show was first announced. Dust Palace and the APO? What sort of arranged marriage was this?  Had both companies’ marketing departments recently been on a misguided training course on audience diversification? It initially seemed my fears were confirmed at curtain up. A warm but minimal exchange between conductor and […]